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Adventure Island truck thief jailed
12:00pm Thursday 29th August 2013 in News
A MAN was jailed after admitting stealing a truck from Adventure Island.
David Bateman was arrested on Saturday night after taking the red Nissan pickup from the Southend seafront theme park.
The court heard Bateman, 46, used a screwdriver to force the lock of the truck at about 10pm.
He then used the tool to prise open the ignition plate and start the engine.
He put different number plates on the vehicle, then drove it away.
Police stopped him on the M25, at the junction with the A13, and he immediately confessed it wasn’t his truck.
Ian Elkins, prosecuting, said: “When asked if it was his vehicle he said ‘no its stolen’.
“He fully admitted the offence and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.”
Magistrates in Southend were told Bateman had 121 previous convictions going back to 1980.
Most recently, he was convicted in December for taking a vehicle without consent, driving without insurance and while disqualified and was given 96 days in prison.
Defence counsel said at the time of the latest offences, Bateman had been driving back to his home in Abbotts Road, Poplar.
Bateman pleaded guilty to stealing the truck, driving with no insurance and driving while disqualified. Chair of the bench, David Austin, sentenced him to a jail term.
He said: “In view of your offending history and the fact it was not so long ago you were in prison for a very similar offence, we have no option but to send you to prison once more.”
Bateman was given 18 weeks in prison for each offence, to run concurrently, and disqaulified for two years.
He will serve half the sentence in prison and half on licence.
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