Wellingborough petrol thief avoids jail

Wellingborough Magistrates Court
Wellingborough Magistrates Court

A Wellingborough man who five times drove off without paying for petrol has been given a conditional discharge.

Joseph Hunter, 49, of Ruskin Avenue, pleaded guilty to all counts facing him at Wellingborough Magistrates Court.

The court heard how Hunter filled up his vehicle with £50.03 of petrol at the Shell garage in Gold Street in April without paying, before driving off without paying for £10 of fuel from a service station in Rushden just eight days later.

In July, he did not pay for £50.12 of petrol from Tesco in Wellingborough, and the following month he drove off after filling up to the tune of £51.77 at the same garage.

In September, Hunter then made off without paying for another £56.56 of fuel.

Hunter also pleaded guilty to driving without insurance, and after being taken into custody was found to be in possession of 2g of amphetamine.

Mitigating, Mr Bains said Hunter admitted stealing the petrol at the earliest possible opportunity.

He said: “He is no longer driving because he feels if he does he could do something again.

“He does not travel to any petrol stations because he is worried.

“Mr Hunter has mental health issues which affects his behaviour but he has admitted taking the petrol.”

Sentencing, chairman of the bench Janet Whitby gave Hunter an 18-month conditional discharge for the fuel and drug offences.

He was fined £120 for driving without insurance and given six penalty points and made to pay compensation of £218.48 for the fuel.

Hunter was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £20.