I'm pretty impressed by Burnley solicitor Dylan Bradshaw :
Pennine magistrates heard hard-up dad Carl Anthony Little thought he would take advantage of the high price of fuel to make money and struck six times in a few days, helping himself to diesel worth £2,000. He was arrested after picking the fuel cap and trying to syphon diesel from a HGV in North Valley Road, Colne. He left the syphoning equipment, with his DNA on it, as he made off.
Mr Dylan Bradshaw (defending) said Little had been working until May, providing limited financial help to his ex-girlfriend and child, but was sacked. He had associates in the criminal fraternity and it was suggested one way of making money quickly was to steal diesel.
Mr Bradshaw wemt on: "I have advised him it was a rather idiotic idea as you can't make a living without any risks or repercussions."
The solicitor said one of the risks was possible physical injury at the hands of robust lorry drivers and another was getting arrested.
Mr Bradshaw said the court could rule out the possibility of custody. Little had committed the offences out of financial desperation combined with naivety and immaturity.
He added: "This was a temporary misguided period in his life. He thought he could make a few pounds by stealing other people"s diesel. Clearly that was not the case."
I see. A temporary misguided period in his life, eh ? An honest bloke who fell on hard times and was led into temptation ? After all, he's only 26.
Little, who has an extensive criminal record and was alrady on a community order, was given a three-month curfew, seven days a week, between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. He must also pay £65 costs.
So he got a slap on the wrist despite an extensive criminal record. The thing is, our justice system's in such a state, and you have to try so hard to be sent to jail, that one can't possibly tell if Mr Bradshaw did a good job for his client or not. For all I know that's a relatively harsh punishment these days.