Three men jailed for conspiracy to steal from lorries - Toddington

11/03/2016

Three Londoners, who slashed open the sides of lorries parked up for the night at Toddington Service Station on the M1, have today, Friday, 11 March 2016, been jailed for 18 months each.

They were found guilty by a jury at Luton Crown Court of conspiracy to steal.

Jamie Williamson, Frederick Love and Michael Harris were spotted at the service area late at night on 15 October last year by police officers in unmarked cars. A silver Vauxhall Astra was seen to pull into the lorry park of the northbound service area. Two men got out and were seen to look at parked up lorries before getting back into the car, which then drove off. Later that night in the early hours of 16 October, the same car was seen to drive into the the service area at Toddington beside the southbound carriageway of the motorway.

The car was seen to go to the area where lorries were parked up for the night and the police officers became aware of two men in dark clothing walking around the lorries. The two men got back into the Astra and it moved off again.

The jury heard Williamson, aged 31, from the Newham area, but of no fixed address, was driving the car. The two passengers with him were Love, aged 26, also from Newham of no fixed address, who in his youth had played football for Millwall FC before being released by the club, and Harris, aged 30, of Charlemont Road, Newham, East London.

The jury was told that as the car left the service area and got back onto the M1, police officers were able to look at the lorries, that the two men in dark clothing had gone to, and discovered the curtain sheeting on the sides of the trailers had been slashed to allow someone to look inside. In all, 18 lorries had been damaged in this way and all of the drivers were to tell police that when they had parked up their vehicles, a few hours earlier, the trailer curtains had been intact.

As a result of what police found, the court was told all three men were stopped in the Astra on the motorway shortly afterwards. In the boot of the vehicle officers found three pairs of secateurs, gloves and a balaclava. All three men were arrested and taken into custody where, in interviews, they answered 'no comment' to questions from the officers.

Judge Barbara Mensah sentenced the three men to 18 months imprisonment each.

Love, as a result of his conviction today, was in breach of 16 month prison sentence suspended for two years.  The Judge ordered him to serve a further two weeks on top of his 18 month sentence.

Williamson admitted stealing doughnuts from a shop at the service station on the same night and was sentenced to an additional two months imprisonment to run concurrently to his 18 month sentence.

The Judge told all three she was satisfied there had been "significant planning" on the night of the offence.

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