Man took van without permission


A 37-year-old Louth man took a friend’s van without permission and then pretended to be him when he was stopped by the police, Skegness Magistrates Court has heard.

Gary John Cartwright of Badminton Way, admitted 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 his duties.

Nick Todd, prosecuting, said Cartwright had been friendly with the van’s owner, Martin Garbutt, for four or five years, 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, on Fairfield Industrial Estate while he went to work.

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.

After police officers believed him, 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.

Defending Gordon Holt said Cartwright had serious drug problems and that his taking the van was to go to Grimsby to get heroin.

He said there was a link between his taking the van and his heroin problem, which was out of control.

The magistrates adjourned the case for a report from the Probation Service and Addaction, the drugs advisory service.