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Caravan thief Adam Roughton jailed
A MEMBER of a “professional” gang of thieves that travelled from Leicestershire to target caravans near York has been jailed.
Adam Dean Roughton, 22, was one of two drivers who towed caravans worth a total of £30,000 from a farm, York Crown Court was told.
Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said Roughton drove so fast during a police chase with one stolen caravan on tow it nearly overturned and veered on to the wrong side of the road.
The court was told Roughton then abandoned his vehicles only for a police dog to catch him and bring him down in a culvert. He was on parole from prison at the time.
Roughton, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two charges of caravan theft and one of dangerous driving. He was jailed for 15 months, to start when he finishes the sentence he is already serving. He was also banned from driving for 12 months and was ordered to retake his driving test.
Judge Guy Kearl QC said Roughton had been part of a “professional” operation and had a “colossal record” for dishonesty.
Mr Sharp told York Crown Court a gang of travellers from Leicestershire stole a Land Rover Discovery and “hired” Roughton to drive it and them alongside another vehicle to a York travellers’ site. From there, late on the night of December 17 and 18, they broke on to farms, taking off farm gates and towing away caravans.
They used the Discovery to tow away a £12,000 caravan from one farm, transferred it to their second vehicle and returned for an £18,000 caravan.
But as Roughton towed the second caravan along the A63 near Selby in the Discovery he was spotted by police who gave chase.
Driving at 60mph, and therefore over the speed limit for towing a vehicle, he tried unsuccessfully to shake them off.
By the time he abandoned it in a field, the caravan had been so badly damaged it had to be written off. The first caravan has not been recovered.
Roughton’s barrister, Andrew Conboy, said his client had mental problems and self-harmed. He was on anti-depressants and anti-psychotics.
The court was told after his release from prison two weeks before the thefts, Roughton had not taken medication which had clouded his judgement when offered £100 to act as the gang’s driver.
Since his arrest, he had been recalled to prison to finish the 30-month sentence he was on parole from.