Wrexham trio locked up after stealing car from driveway while owner was on holiday

Reporter:

Court Reporter

A car stolen in Wrexham while the owner was on holiday was later found damaged with three wheels missing.

Three people from Wrexham were given custodial sentences when they appeared at Mold Crown Court.

Robert Spruce, 21, of Pentre Gwyn in Caia Park, admitted the aggravated vehicle taking of a Honda Jazz in December. He was jailed for a year.

Co-defendant Paul Hopson, 20, of Gwenfro, Caia Park, admitted being carried in a stolen vehicle and he received 12 months in youth custody.

A 17-year-old youth, who cannot be publicly identified, also admitted bring carried in the stolen Honda and he received a six month detention and training order.

A previous charge alleging burglary at the home of the car owner in Belgrave Drive in Erddig, Wrexham, was dropped at an earlier hearing.

Judge Niclas Parry said the source of the criminality was a very serious house break-in by a group of burglars who targeted high value items.

The car was taken from the driveway and damage was caused.

He said to varying degrees all three defendants had shocking previous convictions.

Spruce had only been released a matter of weeks from a 14 month sentence for two previous house burglaries when the offence occurred.

Hopson had a bad motoring record and had previously served a custodial sentence for burglary.

The youth, the judge said, was on one of the strictest orders possible for someone under the age of 18 but he continued to offend.

Prosecutor David Mainstone said on December 2 the Honda Jazz owner and her husband went on holiday and when they returned the vehicle had gone.

It was discovered their home had been burgled and the keys and other items had been taken including a television set and cash.

On December 5 the car was seen in the car park of a convenience store in Coedpoeth.

Spruce was the driver, the other two were passengers, and all three were positively identified from the in-store CCTV footage.

The youth was in breach of an earlier criminal behaviour order which prevented him from being the passenger in a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

Barrister Myles Wilson, defending Spruce, said his client had since been recalled to custody. He said a number of tragedies had befallen his family.

Spruce was due to be released in May and Mr Wilson asked for a sentence that would not extend his period in custody.

Barrister Andrew Green, for Hopson, said the only question for the court was how long the sentence should be.

Hopson, said Mr Green, was still a young man and there was time for him to “change direction”.

While in custody he had been studying maths and English.

Mr Green said the youth was motivated to engage with the agencies there to help him.

He was still young and very immature and he knew that the best way forward for him would be for him to stay off the streets, keep out of trouble and get himself a job.

 

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