Mechanic who stored stolen cars loses appeal

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A SHEFFIELD man who was jailed for helping to store and dispose of high-value stolen vehicles lost an appeal for a cut in his sentence.

Robert David Atkinson, aged 31, of Wincobank Avenue, Wincobank, was jailed for 14 months at Sheffield Crown Court in June after admitting two counts of handling stolen goods.

His lawyers argued at London’s Court of Appeal that he had been too harshly punished, pointing out had endured a lot of misfortune in his life, but their appeal was dismissed.

Atkinson had learning difficulties and had worked with his father as a mechanic for years until his dad was diagnosed with fast-moving cancer and died. The the family business collapsed.

Atkinson was said to have been ‘easy meat’ for persuasive criminals who asked him to look after a stolen £10,000 Suzuki motorbike and a £20,000 Ford van.

He was caught when police searched his lock-up garage in January and found the bike intact and the van dismantled.

The Court of Appeal heard that Atkinson, whose wife left him after he was jailed, had felt in fear of the person who gave him the vehicles to store.

Mr Justice Stadlen, sitting with Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Judge Anthony Morris QC, said the original sentence had been fair.

Dismissing the appeal, Mr Justice Stadlen said: “These are serious offences, without which many of the large number of cars that are regularly stolen throughout the county would be less likely to be stolen.”