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Friday, 11 July 2014

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Cumbrian man stole tractor after night out, court told

A man who stole a tractor with a friend after a night out and drove it on the A66 has been banned from driving for 12 months.

Jonathan Mooney, 22, of Coleridge Court, Keswick, was also given a six-month community order, a curfew between 7pm and 6am for 16 weeks and ordered to pay £150 compensation plus £150 court costs.

Mooney pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking at West Cumbria Magistrates’ Court.

David Martin, defending, told the court that on January 3 Mooney had gone out with his friend Anthony Plaskett, who had been suffering from depression, in an attempt to cheer him up.

On their way home in the early hours of January 4 they had walked past a farm and Plaskett, who was convicted and sentenced at an earlier hearing, had the idea to take the Massey Ferguson tractor.

Mr Martin said: “The intention wasn’t to steal it, the intention was to drive it to a nearby layby and leave it there.”

The pair had taken and driven the tractor and when spotted by a police officer who tried to stop them they overtook and kept going until they turned into a dead end lane.

During the incident damage was done to electrical fencing, wiring, metal gates and to the tractor itself amounting to around £300 in total.

Chairman of the magistrates bench Doug McNicholas, said in sentencing that they had taken many factors into account including the damage caused and Mooney’s previous record which included two other convictions for aggravated vehicle taking.

Mooney had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to failing to stop for a police constable and using a motor vehicle without third party insurance.

No separate penalties were given for these offences and a charge of driving while over the legal alcohol limit was dismissed.

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