Ipswich: Car thief used his socks for gloves while taking vehicle

IPSWICH: A car thief who was banned from driving was caught behind the wheel of a stolen car – wearing socks on his hands.

Jobless Andrew Fee succumbed to temptation and pinched a Vauxhall Corsa. In an incident described by his own solicitor as “madness”, the 20-year-old was caught reversing the car close the junction of Thompson Road, near where he lived at the time.

Fee, of Wallace Road, Ipswich, admitted a charge of driving while disqualified, taking a car without the owner’s consent and driving without insurance at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

District Judge David Cooper heard how he had stolen the car in Bramford Lane at about 1.10am on February 5. When police officers arrested Fee he was found with his socks covering his hands, the court heard.

His solicitor John Hughes told the court: “He noticed the window of the car was open and the temptation to get in to have a drive around got the better of him.

“It was clearly madness on his behalf. He had had a drink but was not over the limit. He has no idea why he decided to do it.”

Judge Cooper said the 20-year-old had “clearly planned” the theft after hearing he had put his socks on his hands.

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In May 2007, the then 17-year-old was banned from driving. The court heard his ban was in place until he took another driving test, but Fee had failed to take any driving lessons in the meantime.

Sentencing Fee, Judge Cooper described the defendant as “obviously untrustworthy”. He told Fee driving while disqualified crossed the custody threshold, especially when combined with trying to steal a car “in the calculated way” he did.

He sentenced Fee to 90 days in a young offenders’ institution for driving while disqualified, which he suspended for a year.

For taking a motor vehicle without consent he handed the 20-year-old another 90-day term to run concurrently, and for driving without insurance Fee was fined �100. He was also banned from driving for six months, ordered to pay costs of �85 and a government victim surcharge of �15.

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