Ipswich murder victim’s brother is given further jail term for botched boat theft

Ipswich Magistrates Court Stock Image.

Ipswich Magistrates Court Stock Image. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A murder victim’s brother jailed for being part of a “sickening” attack at a travellers’ site has been given a further six months’ imprisonment for a bungled boat theft.

Ernest Oakley. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

Ernest Oakley. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE - Credit: Archant

Ernest Oakley, of Woodlands Way, Ipswich, appeared before the town’s magistrates’ court via a video link from Norwich Prison where he was serving a three-year and four-month jail term for violent disorder at West Meadows in Ipswich. A horse was slaughtered during the incident.

The disorder occurred after the 23-year-old’s brother Nathan Oakley, 18, was one of two men murdered by Nelson Smith, then 17, in December last year. Smith is currently serving life imprisonment after being convicted at the Old Bailey of the two murders.

Three months before the murders Ernest Oakley stole the Highfield 18ft Rigid Inflatable Boat valued at £9,618.44 on September 24. Oakley pleaded guilty to the burglary during his video link appearance.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said the theft occurred from an outbuilding at a farm in New Road, Helmingham.

The boat was on a trailer in a barn. Overnight the padlock was cropped off the barn door.

Tools were taken from a drawer and used to disconnect the locking mechanism from the trailer. The trailer was then attached to the thieves’ vehicle.

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Oakley’s DNA was subsequently found on a metal bolt which unscrewed the locking mechanism.

Police were called at around 9am on September 24 to a report of a boat and trailer found in Ashbocking Road on the way to Henley.

The boat had not been properly strapped on to the trailer and had fallen off it on to the road.

Due to the damage caused a new hull was needed which cost £9,618. The trailer repairs cost a further £518.

A previous attempt had been made to steal the boat, but the thieves had been disturbed. The second theft occurred only five or six days after it was brought back to the farm.

Father-of-three Oakley, a landscape gardener, said he needed the money and friend told him he could sell it. He claimed to be ashamed of what he had done.

In addition to his extra six-month jail term, Oakley was ordered to pay £450 compensation to the owners of the boat and £115 to the victims’ fund.