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29th Jun, 2022

Thieves of cars worth over £200k ordered to pay just £1 each

Andy Morris 8th Jan, 2018

THREE men who waged a campaign of burglaries at houses throughout Warwickshire in which they took cars worth a total of more than £200,000 have been ordered to pay just £1 each.

Jay Bennett, Gez Bennett and Tony Barrett had all been jailed last year after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to conspiring to commit burglaries together.

Jay Bennett, 24, of Shulmans Walk, Coventry, who also admitted a second conspiracy, dangerous driving and damage being reckless whether life was endangered, was jailed for seven years.

His brother Gez, 21, of Gulson Road, Coventry, and Barrett, 22, of Haseley Road, Coventry, were both jailed for four years for the conspiracy, with Barrett getting an additional six months for a further offence of theft.

But on that occasion a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act was adjourned for investigations into their finances.

At the resumed hearing, prosecutor Simon Phillips said it was agreed that Jay Bennett’s benefit from his crimes was £169,600 – while Barrett’s was £27,600 and Gez Bennett’s was £5,100.

But none of the defendants had any available assets – so Recorder Jaqueline Carey made orders that £1 should be confiscated from each of them under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

By making such nominal orders, it means that if any of the three are later found to have other assets, or if they come into any money, it can be seized from them.

During the original hearing Mr Phillips said the main aim of the burglaries committed by the three men was to steal the keys to expensive cars on the drives of the houses they targeted.

The estimated value of the cars targeted by the three of them was £287,000 – and those taken in the later conspiracy in which Jay Bennett took part were worth a further £193,000.

When the keys could not be found, they stole other items including jewellery, and on one occasion Barratt stole a £28,000 BMW from a drive while the owner was in the house after turning the engine on to defrost it.

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