Diesel thief who targeted St Neots special school three times is jailed

16:18 30 January 2014

Archant

A diesel thief who again targeted vehicles at a special needs school has been jailed.

In the latest incident, Lee Andrews, 40, of Cromwell Gardens, St Neots, climbed over the fence at Samuel Pepys School, in Cromwell Road, between 6.30pm on January 14 and 7am the following day.

He unscrewed fuel tank caps from four minibuses and siphoned the diesel.

On Thursday (January 23), Huntingdon magistrates heard that Andrews had sold the fuel for £10.

It was the third time in seven months that he had stolen diesel from the school – he targeted the school twice in June last year, causing £710 of damage to three vehicles and stealing £90 of fuel, which led to school activities being cancelled.

On Thursday (January 20) Jackie Carradice, prosecuting, told Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court: “The pipe that was used to siphon the diesel was left at the scene. DNA from the defendant was on that.

“He said he didn’t know how his DNA got on the pipe. He said he had committed diesel thefts before and had hidden the equipment in a hedge and that someone found the pipe and threw it over the fence.”

Kevin Warboys, mitigating, said: “This was approximately £20 [of stolen diesel], so not a vast quantity and no damage was caused to the vehicles.

“In January Mr Andrews found himself short of money. He left with the fuel in a can but forgot the pipe, very foolishly.

“He lives at home with his sister, mother and father. His mother suffers from depression and doesn’t cope very well, especially after October when his father was diagnosed with cancer and given six months to live.

“His sister looks after their father during the day and he looks after him at night.”

Following the first two thefts, magistrates gave Andrews a three-month sentence suspended for 12 months. On Thursday they activated the sentence and also gave Andrews a one-month sentence for his latest crime, to run concurrently.

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