Gainsborough

Criminal duo jailed for stealing 30 vans in eight months

Two Gainsborough men who went on a crime spree stealing almost 30 vehicles over an eight month period have been jailed for two years each.

Denver Finney and his accomplice Lee Woodmansey stole vans from across Lincolnshire and neighbouring counties including Humberside, Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire.

Chris Jeyes, prosecuting, said that the pair subsequently removed the engines and gearboxes from the vans and then burned out the vehicles.

Mr Jeyes said: “28 Ford Transit vans were stolen and one Sprinter van. Most of those stolen were from Lincolnshire.

“The vehicles would be broken into and once stolen would be moved to a more remote spot where the engine and gearbox were removed.

“Afterwards the vans would be burned out and absolutely destroyed.

“The overall loss to the owners of the vehicles when it is added up comes to £331,000. That is both the value of the vehicles and of their contents.

“The victims were tradesmen. They lost stock and tools as well as their vans.”

Mr Jeyes said that Finney and Woodmansey were arrested after police raided their business premises at Hemswell in August of 2017 and found items linked to the thefts.

Finney, 32, of Victoria Close, Gainsborough; and Woodmansey, 32, of Richmond Road, Gainsborough; each admitted conspiracy to steal motor vehicles between January 1 and August 15 2017. They were each jailed for two years.

Finney admitted an unrelated charge of dangerous driving involving an incident at Westgate roundabout in Grimsby on May 29 2019. He was given a six month consecutive jail sentence and banned from driving for 33 months.

David Eager, in mitigation, urged that both men should not receive immediate prison sentences.

He told the court: “The main mitigation is the way that the defendants have conducted themselves since these matters came to light.

“They were both interviewed in August 2017 and they were placed on bail. They looked at themselves and were determined to change their conduct and they did so.

“They have got on with their lives knowing they faced a prison sentence.

“They have worked as landscape gardeners. When coronavirus came along they had to stop and then they were confined to their homes for three months.”

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