SPALDING lorry driver Stephen Gresswell escaped prison after being found guilty of attempted theft at Maidstone Crown Court.
Gresswell (39), of Albert Road, was alleged to have taken a refrigerated trailer worth £37,500 from Gillingham Business Park in September 2009, but was unsuccessful after two attempts at taking it.
The then self-employed driver had finished delivering his load and went on a “drive round”, looking for potential business.
He spotted the trailer, containing £14,000 of frozen food, and attempted to couple his DAF tractor unit.
The trailer was then taken later on in the day by another driver who still hasn’t been traced.
Prosecutor Trevor Wright said that the trailer had been left by its original driver after his hours had finished and was due to be collected by a colleague.
Mitigating, John Fitzgerald said that Gresswell had no interest in the goods, but wanted another trailer to add to his fledgling business.
He continued: “He acted on the spur of the moment. His criminal culpability is a short, dishonest thought and he should not be punished for the criminal exploits of someone else.”
Judge Phillip St John-Stevens gave Gresswell a ten month prison sentence suspended for two years. He also ordered Gresswell to complete 220 hours’ unpaid works and pay £550 prosecution costs.
He added: “You are a hard-working family man and, on this occasion, lost your sense of perspective and sense of honesty”
Gresswell’s business folded and he was regarded as a “company ambassador” for another haulage firm prior to the trial.