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Car thief avoids jail
A CAR thief has been given a suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of stealing a vehicle and scrapping it for cash.
Salisbury Crown Court heard on Tuesday that Damien Cooper, 40, took the Citroën Xantia from a car park in Randall’s Croft Road, Wilton in February. He towed it away and took it to a Salisbury scrap yard, where he exchanged it for cash.
Salisbury Crown Court heard on Tuesday that the victim was a “somewhat vulnerable man” who saw the vehicle as his “pride and joy”.
A victim impact statement read to the court said: “I feel like someone has come up to me in the street and roughed me up”.
Marcus Tregilgas-Davey, defending, said: “It has been four years since his last offence which is the longest period without him offending. It’s something that backs up what he says, that in the main for the last number of years he has been leading a law abiding life.”
Judge Patrick Hooton said: “As far as the victim was concerned, this was an extremely upsetting incident. Anybody who wakes to find their car has gone because the likes of you have put a tow bar on it and taken it down to the scrap yard would be very upset.
“I take into account the fact that you have been out of trouble for four years and that this was a one off; if it hadn’t been you would be going down the steps. If there is any infringement of the suspended sentence, particularly if it has got something to do with stolen cars, you know where you are going.”
Cooper, of Fairfield Road, was given a 12-month suspended prison sentence with 12 months’ supervision and was ordered to pay the victim £150 in compensation.