Scrap dealer who defied Judge's instruction jailed for eight months at Norwich Crown Court
PUBLISHED: 14:49 19 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:37 02 June 2010
A MAN who sold scrap vehicles worth at least £35,000 in blatant breach of a court order forbidding him from doing so has been jailed for eight months. Judge Peter Jacobs told Tony Gray, 54, he had not the slightest doubt that he continued doing busine
A MAN who sold scrap vehicles worth at least £35,000 in "blatant breach" of a court order forbidding him from doing so has been jailed for eight months.
Judge Peter Jacobs told Tony Gray, 54, he had "not the slightest doubt" that he continued doing business at The Builders Yard, Wheatley Bank, Walsoken, after he was given a restraining order to stop him trading in July last year.
Judge Jacobs said aerial photographs of the scrap yard taken in July showed around 600 cars according to police estimates, but photos taken on March 17 showed hundreds had been removed.
"A glance at that photograph reveals that the bulk of the cars have gone," he said. "Careful examination of the photograph reveals some additional cars in the small number still shown on the photograph are new.
"The disposal of assets was restrained, including all motor vehicle assets whether driveable or not.
"Gray has simply carried on dealing in such a way as to turn as many cars into cash as he can."
Summing up at Norwich Crown Court, Judge Jacobs said that although Gray introduced evidence that parts of The Builders Yard were dealt with by eastern European men who took cars off site, he had not produced documentary proof or complained to the police about the removals.
"This is the clearest contempt of court," said Judge Jacobs. "The reality is that Gray has simply carried on the business and has disposed of £35,000 worth of property in complete defiance of the restraining order."
Mitigating, Andrew Oliver said Gray had not tried to hide what he was doing, and that his methods "lacked sophistication".
He argued that police estimates of the value of the scrap cars could vary from £50 to £120 each, and that around 400 cars were involved.
Sentencing Gray to eight months in prison, Judge Jacobs said: "You would have been allowed £100 a week to live on and you may have been allowed more if you came before me, but you have been totally arrogant and indifferent about this.
"You did not need money because you were carrying on the business. You do not seem to have been fully aware of the gravity of what you were doing.