Man jailed for double motor theft

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An Oban drug user has been jailed for 10 months for stealing two vehicles to get to Glasgow.

Eioun Smith, 41, of 3A Millpark Terrace, Oban, admitted stealing a car from an Oban garage on July 29, then a van and its contents from Taynuilt between July 30-31, and driving both without a full licence and insurance.

Smith’s partner, Melissa McLaughlin of the same address, also stood accused of stealing the two vehicles, but her not guilty pleas were accepted by the Crown.

Procurator fiscal Eoin McGinty told Oban Sheriff Court on Tuesday September 12: ‘He [Smith] had picked her up in the first vehicle and as they reached Taynuilt it ran out of petrol. He made off to make other plans and returned with the van. CCTV showed two people get into a van and drive to Glasgow.

‘The van’s contents are noted as missing. The owner has indicated the loss to be £3,200. All his tools were missing and the radio was removed. He feared the van would be written off given the lack of keys. He had not received a day’s pay since the van was stolen.

‘He [Smith] said it was opportunist. He could not really remember what had been happening as he had been on drugs.’

Police suspect the tools were sold in Glasgow, Mr McGinty added.

Smith pleaded guilty to another charge of acting in an aggressive manner towards Ms McLaughlin on Albany Street on August 4 after the couple were interviewed at Oban Police Office.

‘The suspicion was it was due to her frankness initially,’ Mr McGinty said.

However, defence agent Kevin McGinness said Smith claimed ‘it bore no relationship to what took place in the police station’. Smith also admitted to failing to appear at Oban Sheriff Court on August 15.

Mr McGinness said: ‘There is a significant record of previous convictions.’

Given Smith’s record and the nature of the offences, Sheriff Patrick Hughes sentenced Smith to serve eight months in prison for each of the two thefts, to run concurrently, followed by a further two months each for the two later charges, again to run concurrently, totalling 10 months altogether. Smith was also disqualified from driving until he passed his test.