Night fisherman who ‘borrowed’ van in Worksop hooked by tracking device

Mansfield Magistrates Court

Mansfield Magistrates Court

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A man drove home from Worksop in a van that didn’t belong to him after he went night-fishing, a court has heard.

Sean Kelly, 37, of Park Avenue, North Anston, admitted taking a vehicle without the owners consent, and driving while disqualified and without insurance, when he appeared at Mansfield court on Thursday.

Robert Carr, prosecuting, said the Fiat Ducato van was taken from outside a house on Alexander Drive, in Worksop, on May 12, at around 1.30am, when the owner briefly left the keys in a high-visibility jacket on the front seat.

The company van was fitted with a tracker which allowed police to trace it to North Anston, where Kelly was chased by officers and finally detained.

Kelly told police he took the van so he could get home.

The court heard Kelly had ten previous convictions for driving while disqualified.

Ian Pridham, mitigating, said: “Because of various mental health issues, he had gone night-fishing in Worksop because he thought it would help him, but he couldn’t settle down.

“Because he wasn’t due to be given a lift for some hours he went walking and came across the unlocked van. He used the cigarette lighter inside and then discovered the keys. He drove it to somewhere near his home address.”

Mr Pridham said Kelly became addicted to a heroin substitute called subutex in prison and had a number of personal setbacks which became ‘too much’ for him.

He had spent some time in mental hospitals since his release from prison earlier in the year.

District Judge Andrew Meachin sentenced him to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and added six points to his licence.

Kelly was also ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £115.