Parts from an expensive car that had been stolen were advertised for sale on eBay in a scam by a Hucknall man.
Nottingham Crown Court heard how Paul Stirland (43), of Farleys Lane, plotted the scam while he was short of money after being laid off from work when diagnosed with epilepsy.
But the judge, Recorder Simon King, told Stirland it was so serious that he imposed a prison-sentence of 12 months, suspended for two years.
The court heard that the car, a black Mitsubishi Lancer, worth £8,000, was stolen from Vincent Higgins in a burglary at his home in Brinsley on Thursday 5th June last year.
“When Mr Higgins later looked on eBay, he saw that most parts of the car, except the engine and chassis, were being advertised,” said Harold Ewing (prosecuting).
An investigation by the police led them to Stirland’s home, where they recovered many of the parts.
“Mr Higgins was able to identify one of them because of a scratch his friend had made, “ said Mr Ewing. “Also, the alloy wheels were unique to him because they had been re-sprayed in a certain way.
“Stirland said he paid £250 for the parts and bought them from a Polish man, known only as John, who had them in the back of his van at a scrapyard.”
Christopher Hogg (defending) said Stirland now accepted that he knew, or should have known, that the parts had been stolen.
“He expresses his remorse, but he was under great financial pressure at the time and struggling to make ends meet,” said Mr Hogg. “He was on long-term sick leave and falling into mortgage arrears.
“It was a one-off and he made only £70. He is now working again.”
Stirland, who pleaded guilty to a charge of handling stolen goods, was also ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid, supervised work in the community. Warning him that he could have gone to prison, Mr King said: “Take this chance and stay out of trouble.”
The prosecution offered no evidence on two similar charges of handling stolen cars, namely a £20,000 BMW belonging to Glen Radford and a £3,500 Vauxhall Astra, owned by Daniel Spedding, so not-guilty verdicts were issued by the judge.