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Keighley paving slabs thief is sentenced
1:20pm Friday 30th August 2013 in News
A woman householder watched in dismay as a white Transit van drove off with her York stone forecourt in the back, Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday.
But Maria Mutarelli was able to describe the van, with its distinctive blue stripe, to police, and it was stopped soon afterwards with her 12 paving slabs on board.
One had the end cut off and officers matched it, jigsaw-like, to the space filled by the uprooted slab area at her home in Kendal Street, Keighley.
James Molloy, 38, of Haincliffe Road, Spring Bank in Keighley, denied theft of the slabs, at 6.53am on November 2 last year, but was convicted after a trial on August 2.
Molloy, who was driving the van when it was stopped by police, said they were his slabs, come by honestly. His co-accused, Paul Guy, 36, of West Lane in Keighley, was convicted of the same offence.
He has since suffered a leg injury and will be sentenced on September 6, after magistrates were told he was attending hospital this week.
Molloy’s solicitor, Keith Blackwell, said his client’s van was seized by the police and had been scrapped.
“It was a cheap and cheerful vehicle and it will be razor blades and tin cans now,” he told the court.
Mr Blackwell said Molloy was a skilled plasterer, who had spent years employed in the building trade but was now too ill to work. He was a former drug addict but was now free from illegal substances.
Molloy was sentenced to an 18-month community order, with supervision and a nine-month Drug Rehabilitation Requirement. He must pay £370 costs.