Romanian father jailed for theft - St Albans


A Romanian father who came to England for a better life has been jailed for stealing metal from one of England's top public schools.

Iulian Ispilante, aged 29, from Diamond Road in Slough, who came to the country with his wife, but left his children behind, had admitted taking the metal poles from Eton College in Berkshire in an attempt to sell them for scrap metal on 15 July, during the boarding school's summer break. But after being handed a community order for the offence on 08 August, last week St Albans Crown Court heard how just two days later he drove a gang to St Albans city centre where he stole a phone from the O2 phone store in St Peter's Street.

During his getaway the father-of-two nearly mowed down a police officer who stood in his way to stop him, while another who was able to open the passenger door was knocked to the ground when Ispliante sharply reversed the car. The BMW was later recovered abandoned with a stolen iPhone worth £499 found inside.

Ispilante, originally from Bucharest, admitted one charge of theft and another of dangerous driving, as well as being in breach of his order, at St Albans Crown Court on Thursday, 06 September 2012.

Judge Andrew Bright QC said: "It is only sheer luck and not because of any judgement on your part that these officers, acting in the course of their duty, were not seriously injured.

"Those who endanger the lives of police officers must know that they face a significant custodial sentence.

"Your offences that day are aggravated by the fact that just two days earlier you were sentenced to a community order with unpaid work and a curfew requirement, which you showed no regard for.

"You left your children behind to come here with your wife, and in due course you intend for them to join you.

"That plan doesn't seem to be going very far very fast, funding your lifestyle by stealing. People who behave as you did can expect to go to prison."

The judge sentenced Ispilante to eight months in prison for dangerous driving and one month for the phone theft, to run concurrently. He revoked the existing order and handed the thief two four month prison terms for the two breaches to run concurrently, but consecutively to the other offences.

In total the prison terms adds up to 12-months, of which he must serve at least half with 28-days on remand to be taken into account.

He was also disqualified from driving for 12-months, after which he must undergo an extended driving test if he intends to drive.

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