Grantham court: Driver stole fuel on way to court

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Driving to Grantham Magistrates’ Court, a defendant stopped off at a petrol station in Great Ponton and stole £40 worth of diesel.

Dale Withers, 33, admitted making off without payment after stopping at the petrol station on September 11. The court heard Withers has four prior convictions for making off without paying on his record.

Jim Clare, prosecuting, said: “He admitted he did it. He filled up with £40 of diesel and said he was sorry for doing so.”

Giles Tyas, defending, told magistrates Withers was on his way to court when he committed the offence.

He said: “He got to the petrol station and filled up with diesel thinking he had money in his pocket but he realised there was no money in his pocket and he could not pay.

“Rather foolishly he made off, came to court and felt terrible while at court. He was going to return to the petrol station but the police were outside. They seized his van and arrested him.

“He would say it was an impulsive act.”

Mr Tyas said Withers was full of remorse for his actions.

He added: “He has been candid enough to say he has been very, very stupid. He knows he should not have done it and apologises to the court.”

Withers, of Recreation Road, Stamford, was sentenced to a 12-month community order including 12-months’ supervision and the ‘thinking skills’ programme.

He must also pay £40 compensation to the petrol station, £85 costs and a £60 surcharge.