Man swapped stolen car and then sold exchanged vehicle
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
An Ipswich man who swapped a stolen car and then sold the exchanged vehicle among a string of other offences has avoided an immediate prison sentence.
Gazza Vinyard, 31, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday to be sentenced for 12 charges, including seven counts of fraud by false representation.
On Christmas Eve, 2021, Vinyard took an Audi A3, which belonged to his former partner, to Tesco car park in Clacton, to meet the owner of a Vauxhall Astra, which he had seen advertised for sale on Facebook, Robert Levack, prosecuting, told the court.
Vinyard completed the swap on Boxing Day, which included the Astra owner paying an additional £330 to reflect the price difference of the swap, the court heard.
Just days later, on New Year's Eve, Vinyard then advertised the Astra for sale, with an asking price of £1,000, before agreeing a price of £700 with a man in Brantham.
The court also heard how Vinyard assaulted a former partner by punching her in the face in December 2021, and stole the mobile phone of another ex-partner.
Vinyard also stole a purse, containing bank cards, from a woman in Lowestoft on November 19, 2021 and proceeded to use the stolen cards for purchases.
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He also used stolen bank cards belonging to a man in Lowestoft on September 21, 2021, the court heard.
On January 7 this year, Vinyard drove off without paying for £30.07 of fuel from the Shell garage at the Beacon Hill services on Coddenham Road.
As well as the seven fraud offences, Vinyard, of Coltsfoot Road, Ipswich, also previously pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, assault, making off without payment, and theft of a motor vehicle.
Vinyard, who has a number of previous convictions, also admitted six other charges of theft of a motor vehicle, fraud, making off without payment, possession of cannabis and two counts of theft.
He asked the judge to take those offences into consideration.
Simon Gladwell, mitigating, said Vinyard has "changed his life around", and is now employed as a groundworker – his first job since 2014.
Mr Gladwell said Vinyard was "embarrassed" by the offences, and is no longer using cannabis.
Recorder Douglas Edwards QC sentenced Vinyard to 70 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 40 rehabilitation activity requirement days, and the building better relationships programme.
A restraining order against one of Vinyard's former partners was imposed, and he was ordered to pay £330 in compensation to the Vauxhall Astra owner and £55 to one of the victims of the bank card thefts.