Suspended sentence for prolific bilker who stole fuel worth more than £1,500

Suspended sentence for prolific bilker who stole more than £1,500 worth of fuel

Suspended sentence for prolific bilker who stole more than £1,500 worth of fuel

First published in News
Last updated
Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A Garston man has avoided a jail sentence after admitting using stolen number plates to drive off from petrol stations without paying more than 20 times.

Richard Powell pleaded guilty to four bilkings offences and two thefts of number plates and asked for a further 20 bilkings and 9 theft offences to be taken into consideration when he appeared at St Albans Magistrates Court on March 6.

The court heard that between November and February, Powell stole number plates from vehicles in Hemel Hempstead, St Albans, Berkhamsted, King Langley, Watford and Abbots Langley, which he attached to his uninsured Volkswagen Golf to steal fuel from petrol stations in Hemel Hempstead, Redbourn, St Albans, Berkhamsted and Watford.

Following an investigation, the 28-year-old from Hemming Way, was arrested on 16 February and four canisters full of fuel were found in his vehicle. He later admitted the offences to police.

On Thursday he was given a suspended sentence of 24 months with a 12 months supervision order.

He was ordered to attend an education programme and do 80 hours of unpaid work. Powell was also ordered to pay costs and compensation amounting to £908.86 and received 8 points on his licence for driving without insurance.

Following the sentencing, Police Sergeant Adele Hopkin, who led the investigation, said: "It was a very complex investigation, because his offending spanned other areas of Hertfordshire, but we painstakingly pieced together each crime, scouring CCTV, recording number plates and matching them up to recent crimes. We were able to then identify Powell, who in total stole over £1,585 fuel, which we believe he was selling on. 

"Powell thought he could evade police by stealing and changing number plates. I’d remind people of their responsibility of paying for their fuel. Police take this crime, and associated crime, such as theft from vehicles, very seriously.

"His arrest form part of a wider crackdown led by the Hemel Hempstead Safer Neighbourhood Team on people who people who don’t pay for their fuel."

"A number of other arrests have been made recently and I’d urge people to think twice before committing this type of crime or they may find us knocking on their door."

Comments (8)

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3:19pm Tue 8 Apr 14

LSC says...

He is still about £600 up on the deal in cash terms. Sounds good to me.
He is still about £600 up on the deal in cash terms. Sounds good to me. LSC
  • Score: 6

4:13pm Tue 8 Apr 14

croxley46 says...

So, WHY wasn't he jailed? - the scumbag.
Laughable punishment.
So, WHY wasn't he jailed? - the scumbag. Laughable punishment. croxley46
  • Score: 5

4:49pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Popeonarope says...

Still not as good as the deal Maria Miller got. She received £90,718 and only has to pay back £5,800. Nice work if you can get it :o)
Still not as good as the deal Maria Miller got. She received £90,718 and only has to pay back £5,800. Nice work if you can get it :o) Popeonarope
  • Score: 8

4:03am Wed 9 Apr 14

John Dowdle says...

This is a delayed April Fool story, isn't it? Isn't it?
If it is true, it is no wonder so many people hold the law in contempt.
He will be nicking plates and stealing petrol again within a week.
He is a prolific offender. He has not been rehabilitated.
He'll be at it again in next to no time.
Where do these sentencing policies come from - does anyone know?
It must surely be some sort of dumb-bell half-wit who makes them up.
What other conclusion can there be?
This is a delayed April Fool story, isn't it? Isn't it? If it is true, it is no wonder so many people hold the law in contempt. He will be nicking plates and stealing petrol again within a week. He is a prolific offender. He has not been rehabilitated. He'll be at it again in next to no time. Where do these sentencing policies come from - does anyone know? It must surely be some sort of dumb-bell half-wit who makes them up. What other conclusion can there be? John Dowdle
  • Score: 1

7:51am Wed 9 Apr 14

garston tony says...

How did this guy not get a jail sentence? His crime wasnt a one off incident done on the spurr of the moment, a temporary lapse in judgement but a calculated thought out and planned series of crimes carried over a period of time. Its a joke.

I wonder how the police feel having spent all that time to catch him to see him get away with this sentence?
How did this guy not get a jail sentence? His crime wasnt a one off incident done on the spurr of the moment, a temporary lapse in judgement but a calculated thought out and planned series of crimes carried over a period of time. Its a joke. I wonder how the police feel having spent all that time to catch him to see him get away with this sentence? garston tony
  • Score: 1

9:04am Wed 9 Apr 14

WatfordBandB says...

Biker? VW Golf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!
Biker? VW Golf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!! WatfordBandB
  • Score: -1

11:58am Wed 9 Apr 14

John Dowdle says...

For once, I am in absolute agreement with Tony.
There must be some religious festival coming over the horizon?
Praise the........whatever!

B&B: I read it as biker initially; it is not; it is bilker.
That is another reason why I also initially thought this was an April Fool story.
Seemingly, it is not.
This story apparently is for real, however hard that is to believe.
I wonder how much pleasure it will give the police to read it?
For once, I am in absolute agreement with Tony. There must be some religious festival coming over the horizon? Praise the........whatever! B&B: I read it as biker initially; it is not; it is bilker. That is another reason why I also initially thought this was an April Fool story. Seemingly, it is not. This story apparently is for real, however hard that is to believe. I wonder how much pleasure it will give the police to read it? John Dowdle
  • Score: -1

9:17pm Wed 9 Apr 14

the_mofo says...

WatfordBandB wrote:
Biker? VW Golf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!
Bilker mate, not biker.
[quote][p][bold]WatfordBandB[/bold] wrote: Biker? VW Golf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!![/p][/quote]Bilker mate, not biker. the_mofo
  • Score: 0

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