Worksop man driven to crime by unemployment and debt

Mansfield Magistrates Court

Mansfield Magistrates Court

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Unemployment and mounting money pressures drove a Worksop engineer to steal fuel and oil drums, a court has heard.

Mark Steven Taylor, 31, of Cavendish Road, admitted two counts of theft and driving without insurance or a licence at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The court heard Taylor had previously denied stealing three oil drums, worth £30, from a steel firm in Harworth, during the night of September 21, and siphoning £150 of red diesel from tractors on a local farm, overnight on October 5, last year.

But on the day of his trial he admitted the thefts.

George Speed, prosecuting, said the fuel theft was discovered when PC Pickersgill carried out a bail check at his address at 12.30am and saw Taylor’s red Renault Laguna on the drive. But when he returned two hours later, the car was gone and the officer established that Woolley wasn’t at the address.

At 4.50am PC Pickersgill found the Laguna unlocked, with 18 25-litre containers filled with red diesel. While searching the area, a man jumped into the car and drove off.

Woolley was arrested in the car with another man a short time later in Smith Square, Harworth, but only two containers were left in the boot.

The court heard Woolley has been on bail following a charge of handling stolen goods, for which he was sentenced in September last year.

Chris Perry, mitigating, said: “The only other offences were committed at the back end of last year.

“Mr Taylor was an engineer for nine years but the business went under and he was made redundant.

“Since that time, the family were bereft of income. Mr Taylor got to the point where he didn’t have any job and things went from bad to worse.”

The court heard mounting money troubles put pressure on Taylor and ‘things became impossible at home.’

“He ended up committing offences to try and resolve problems that way,” said Mr Perry.

He said Taylor had now found work repairing cars and had ‘got his pride back’.

“Mr Taylor regrets that he did what he did in circumstances that weren’t justified, but he has changed much for the better and he has had to take responsibility for his actions.”

Magistrates gave him a 12 week prison sentence, suspended for a year, and six penalty points were added to his licence. He must also abide by an electronically-monitored curfew from 7pm to 7am for the next 12 weeks, and pay £150 in compensation.