Brother’s firm used in theft

Stuart Stansfield
Stuart Stansfield

A thief used his brother’s company account to order more than £3,600 of tyres, which he then sold to a garage at half price.

Stuart Stansfield, 32, then went on a stealing spree in shops and supermarkets, making of with £1,880 of champagne, wine and spirits.

Preston Crown Court heard Stansfield’s brother had taken him to work at his garage, North West Autocare in Bamber Bridge, but in January discovered 66 tyres had been ordered through supplier British International Tyre Supplies, on 20 separate occasions, using the company account.

He reported the theft to police and during interview, Stansfield admitted he had sold the tyres to a garage in New Hall Lane at half the cost price. Craig Cleminson, prosecuting, said: “His brother has had to pay (the supplier). His business is not financially sound, due to the recession and this offending has caused him further upset.”

Sharon Watson, defending, told the court Stansfield has given his car to his brother in an attempt to reimburse him for some of the thefts.

However following the theft, Stansfield, of Barn Croft, Clayton-le-Woods, visited several Booths, Co-op and Spar stores in Longton, Bamber Bridge, Walton-le-Dale and Longridge, loading up his trolley with alcohol and leaving the shop without paying.

The offences were committed over a two-week period in February and on several occasions, Stansfield was captured on CCTV.

Stansfield again admitted his crimes during a police interview, telling officers he had sold the alcohol to gypsies for £300.

He pleaded guilty to nine counts of theft, a bail offence and breaching a suspended sentence.

The court heard Stansfield had stolen to fund his drug addiction having recently returned to heroin but had already received a suspended sentence for possession of class B drugs with intent to supply and possession of class A drugs.

Miss Watson added: “It is a real tragedy because he presents as an articulate man and comes from a decent family. Were it not for his drug addiction he would work.”

Judge Jacqueline Beech, sentencing, jailed Stansfield for 63 weeks, telling him: “You have to sort yourself out. It is a tragedy not only for you but for your family who must be in despair in relation to you.”