Thief is drenched in diesel as he tries to steal the fuel from a tank

PUBLISHED: 11:50 09 September 2009 | UPDATED: 09:14 02 June 2010

A THIEF who was completely drenched in diesel as he allowed more than £700 worth of fuel to gush out of a farmer s tank has been jailed for 18 weeks. Chasey Smith turned up at Graham Dunham s farm in March early on a Sunday morning in search of diesel for

A THIEF who was completely drenched in diesel as he allowed more than £700 worth of fuel to gush out of a farmer's tank has been jailed for 18 weeks.

Chasey Smith turned up at Graham Dunham's farm in March early on a Sunday morning in search of diesel for his van.

"Mr Dunham was woken up by the sound of a vehicle, he heard a gushing noise and realised someone was attempting to steal diesel from his tank," prosecutor Marion Bastin explained at Wisbech courthouse.

"It was literally pouring out; he saw a small white van and heard someone shouting. He realised his tank had been attacked, and notified the police."

Police rushed to the scene - and found diesel still spilling on to the ground and a wrench on the floor.

"The farmer lost the whole tank of diesel," said Mrs Bastin. "Officers stopped the defendant and found him drenched in fuel."

Smith, 21, of Turf Fen Travellers Site, Murrow, admitted stealing £710 worth of diesel from Graham Dunham on August 23.

Mitigating, Andrew Cogan said Smith has mental health issues after being beaten up in 2005.

"His intention was to take sufficient diesel to get him home," said Mr Cogan. "It was a complete shock when the contents of the diesel tank emptied."

District judge Ken Sheraton ordered Smith to pay £710 compensation and told him: "You have been to prison before for dishonesty. You have to learn that you cannot to found stealing other people's goods.


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