Melksham car thief handed suspended jail sentence

A car thief who was involved in two weekend crime sprees has been given a chance to break his drug addiction.

Daniel Stacey, who has a long history of taking vehicles, was involved in pinching two cars from a rural village.

The 23-year-old also stole thousands of pounds worth of batteries from a reclamation yard in Devizes a year ago, a judge at Swindon crown court was told.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, said a Land Rover Freelander was taken from outside a house in Kingston Deverill, later found abandoned close to where Stacey was living.

Over the same weekend batteries worth more than £2,000 were taken from Devizes Reclamation, and the following weekend an Isuzu Trooper, only fit for farm work, was taken from Kingston Deverill and later found later on a Westbury housing estate.

Stacey, of Bank Street, Melksham, pleaded guilty to theft and two counts of taking a car without consent.

Marcus Davey, defending, asked the court to go along with the community order which was recommended in the pre-sentence report.

Judge Douglas Field imposed a nine-month jail term, suspended for a year, with a drug rehabilitation requirement. He said: "You now have a stable address, a stable relationship and you have been doing well with the intensive support of the probation services, so I am going to encourage this good progress by giving you a suspended prison sentence."

Steven Barham, of Sheridan Gardens, Trowbridge, had been charged with conspiracy to steal but the case against him was dropped.

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