Thief who stole car from outside family home is jailed

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A shocked householder saw a car thief driving away in her son's Ford Focus which had been stolen from the driveway of the family home in Bradwell, a court heard.

The woman woke up about 3am and looked out the window of their home in El Alamein Way, to see her son's car being driven off with David Courtney, 38, behind the wheel, and also saw that her Audi A5, was missing from the driveway, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Lori Tucker, prosecuting, said the car was later recovered thanks to a post on Facebook which was circulated and people in the community helped track the Ford down to an address in Albion Road, Great Yarmouth.

She said the car appeared to have been undamaged.

Courtney was arrested and claimed that he was paid £50 for his role in helping a car ringer from Liverpool steal the cars from the driveway.

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Ms Tucker said that Courtney told police he could not turn the money down and knew the car was stolen.

Courtney, who appeared via video link from Dovegate Prison, near Uttoxeter, pleaded guilty to the theft of the car on July 22, 2016 and also handling stolen goods and fraud.

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The court heard he had been involved in fraudulently using bank cards which had been stolen from a burglary, in Gorleston.

Stephen Dyble, for Courtney said that his addiction to Class A drugs was behind his offending.

'Class A drugs have blighted his life. These are acquisitive offences to fund his habit.'

He said that Courtney had since moved to Liverpool where he had got help to beat his drug problem and was for the first time given a settled address.

He said Courtney had been arrested and held on remand since December, last year, for these Norfolk offences, but hoped to remain in Liverpool on his release.

Jailing him for eight months, Judge Anthony Bate told him: 'You admitted being involved with a known ringer of cars from the Liverpool area, who has since received quite a significant sentence.'

However he accepted that Courtney was now trying to tackle the drugs problem which had blighted his life.

He said he hoped on his release Courtney could return to his settled address in Liverpool and continue to receive support.

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