Heroin user loses appeal against sentence for stealing fuel
TWENTY-THREE-YEAR-OLD David Austin lost his appeal against a prison sentence he received for making off without paying for fuel from garage forecourts.
The defendant, of Sunny Bank, Middleport, was jailed for eight weeks by North Staffordshire magistrates on June 28 after he pleaded guilty to three charges of making off without payment and motoring matters including driving without a licence and without insurance. He appealed against the sentence but it was rejected by Judge Paul Glenn, sitting with two magistrates at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday.
Prosecutor Heather Chamberlin made off without paying for £10.01 fuel from Texaco Filling Station in Fenton on November 29; £10 petrol from Parkhall Filling Station, Longton, on January 19 and £20.02 from a garage in Chell on February 9.
He also asked for another offence to be taken into consideration – £20.20 from the BP Garage on the A50 on February 4.
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Austin was arrested after a PCSO recognised him on the CCTV footage. He accepted being the driver on each occasion and not paying for the fuel.
Scott Ashdown, representing Austin, conceded the defendant's record aggravated his position, but said Austin has changed his lifestyle and stopped using heroin. He asked the bench to consider suspending the sentence adding that Austin's partner is expecting a child.
But the appeal was refused.
Judge Glenn said: "Very often courts would have imposed a longer sentence. We will keep it at eight weeks, but reject your appeal and it is dismissed."
Austin will serve another 18 days before he is released.