Former RAF Marham employee Steve Coakley admitted stealing waste aviation fuel for his vehicles
- Credit: Ian Burt
A former employee of RAF Marham has admitted stealing the waste aviation fuel from Tornado jets to use in his own vehicles.
Steve Coakley, 42, of Queen Street, Spooner Row, Wymondham, was filling his Volkswagen van, a compressor and his previous partner's vehicle with fuel he took from the military airbase. He pleaded guilty to theft by employee.
Josephine Jones, prosecuting, told King's Lynn Magistrates' Court that police were given information from an unknown source that the waste fuel was being used in private vehicles.
CCTV on November 11 last year showed a van being filled with the fuel and Coakley was subsequently arrested.
They found fuel stored in three jerrycans in his van and a further search at his property found a 500 litre container in his garden.
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Ms Jones said: 'This was not just one vehicle, it was a number of vehicles with other parties.
'It appears that his involvement was much greater, he had been doing it for a couple of years.
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'His police interview covered a shorter period of two months, between September and November last year.'
Ruth Johnson, defending Coakley, told the court the waste fuel was removed by private contractors and HMRC were owed the tax. She said all parties involved have made good any monies owed to them.
The court heard Coakley did not steal the fuel on a regular basis and the total value of stolen fuel amounts to £660. His vehicles were signed over to HMRC, including a seven and a half ton lorry, making a total loss of £4,500.
Ms Johnson said: 'He made a full and frank admission and admitted that is was on and off and not a regular occurrence.
'He is a civil individual now. He is not employed by RAF Marham and is no longer with his partner.
'This incident has put him significantly out of pocket.'
Chair of the bench, Simmy Potter, gave Coakley a community order for 12 months with 50 hours of unpaid work. He was ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge and court costs of £85.