Ipswich: Recovery driver must compensate car theft victim

A CHEEKY vehicle recovery driver who stole a car and sold it to be crushed for around �100 is nearly �600 poorer today.

Duane Collings, of Turner Road, Ipswich, who runs a recovery business, pleaded guilty to theft when he appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor Tess James said the 44-year-old used his truck to take a Mazda 323, belonging to Alan Morley, from an off-road parking area in Rendlesham Court, Ipswich on November 30 last year.

The 17-year-old car had previously been moved from the road after it had all four tyres slashed by a vandal.

Mr Morley last saw his Mazda a couple of days before it was taken by Collings.

When he realised it was missing he spoke to his neighbour Steven Jay, who told him it had been taken away by a recovery vehicle. Mr Jay said he had told Collings that his neighbour wanted to keep the car, the court heard.

But the recovery driver said the council had told him to take it away. Collings then broke a window on the Mazda to get access to the inside so he could attach a chain to it in order to lift the vehicle.

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Further damage was caused as the car was lifted on to the lorry.

When the father-of-four was arrested he denied the theft and said a third party told him there was a Mazda which he could have.

Collings, who has previous convictions for dishonesty, said he took the car to a scrapyard where he was paid �100-�120 before it was crushed.

District Judge David Cooper told Mark Holt, representing Collings: “Your client’s just a chancer really”.

Collings was ordered to pay Mr Morley �500 in compensation and �85 prosecution costs.

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