A man, who took a friend’s van without permission and then pretended to be him when he was stopped by the police, has been given a community order by magistrates at Skegness.
Gary John Cartwright, 38, of Badminton Way, Louith, admitted at a previous hearing to taking the van without the owner’s consent and to driving it without a driving licence or insurance, and also to obstructing the police carrying out their duties. The case had been adjourned for a report from the Probation Service.
Nick Todd, prosecuting, said Cartwright had been friendly with the van’s owner, Martin Garbutt and knew that when Mr Garbutt went to work he left the van unlocked, with the keys in the foot well and his wallet in the car. He said that at around lunchtime on January 28, Cartwright turned up and ‘borrowed’ the van without permission. Later, when he was stopped by police, he used documents in the wallet to pretend that he was Mr Garbutt, Mr Todd said. He continued his journey to Grimsby and then returned the van to where he had taken it so that Mr Garbutt did not realise it had been taken until police contacted him.
Defending, Nicholas Alderson said this was not a joy riding scenario but Cartwright very foolishly took advantage of his friend.
He said that although Cartwright had a prison record for drug dealing, he had kept broadly out of trouble since leaving prison. Mr Alderson said Cartwright had been able to stop taking heroin but had been unable to get a prescription for sleeping pills and so had started taking heroin again to help him sleep and needed to go to Grimsby to get heroin and so took the van. He said Cartwright was anxious to rid himself of his addiction. The magistrates imposed a 12 month community order and ordered that he be supervised by a probation officer and have a drug rehabilitation order for six months. He was also given penalty points for the driving offences, which meant that he was disqualified for 12 months under the totting up procedure. He was also ordered to pay £40 towards costs and a £60 victim surcharge.