21st Mar, 2019

Man put petrol in but never paid

Worcester Editorial 9th Sep, 2015 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

A ST JOHN’S man has been putting petrol into his car without paying throughout the last four years.

Christopher Lane, of East Comer, pleaded guilty at Worcester Magistrates Court on Friday (September 4) to committing nine counts of fraud between September 2011 and January 2015 to gain £97.50.

Kerry Lovegrove, prosecuting, said: “On nine occasions between the dates you have heard the defendant has gone to various different garages and put a low amount of fuel in his vehicle with no means to pay.

“He completed a No Means To Pay form but failed to make the payment within seven days.

“They were all low amounts, the highest on one occasion being £20.18 but on many occasions it was £10 or less.”

Defence solicitor, Gary Harper, said: “Mr Lane is 35-years-old and went 30 years of his life without coming to the attention of the court but five years ago began a heroin addiction and lost his job.

“He was able to get quite a good job after that as an area manager for a bed company.

“He did not have the money to put petrol in the vehicle to fulfil his job role, so what he was doing was putting petrol into his car to get to work.

“It is not like he was filling it up and disappearing, he was filling it up as much as he needed on that particular day.

“He has dealt with his drug taking now by way of Swanswell and has been clean for a couple of months.”

Chair of the bench Fiona James gave Lane a 12 month community order with 60 hours of unpaid work. He was also fined £100 and ordered to pay £97.50 to the various stations involved as well as £105 prosecution costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

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