A YOUNG couple targeted Rugby railway station car park to steal expensive spare wheels from Land Rovers.
Jonathan and Julie Cawley were sentenced at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to two thefts from vehicles at Rugby railway station and one at Birmingham International station.
Jonathan Cawley, 22, of Chandos Street, Coventry, who had previous convictions for 13 offences including four for theft, was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for 12 months.
He was also ordered to take part in rehabilitation and thinking skills activities and to pay £900 compensation.
Julie Cawley, 20, of the same address, who is heavily pregnant and had only one previous conviction for fraud, was given a conditional discharge for 12 months.
Prosecutor Anthony Cartin said the pair stole a Land Rover Discovery’s spare wheel – which cost £600 to replace – at Birmingham International station in January last year.
A week later, the couple took a £300 wheel from a Land Rover parked at Rugby station.
Then on January 30 a Jaguar Land Rover employee returned to Rugby station to find the rear door of his Discovery had been damaged and the spare wheel stolen.
A police officer was patrolling the Rugby station car park the following day when he saw the Cawleys’ white Transit van.
Because a Transit had been associated with the offences, he asked the couple why they were there.
They claimed they were meeting an uncle from a train, but were vague about any further details.
Checks showed the Transit was taxed and insured, so they were allowed to go on their way – but rather than remain to wait for their ‘uncle,’ they tried to drive off.
But the astute officer had ensured the barrier remained down, and they were arrested – but, for some reason, were not actually charged until May this year, added Mr Cartin.
Jonathan Veasey-Pugh, for Jonathan Cawley, said: “I would submit his sentence could be suspended. He does some gardening work, and he makes offer of repayment.
“His wife is heavily pregnant and is due to be induced in a week. They have one child already, a girl, and a boy on the way.”
Andrew Tucker, for Julie Cawley, said: “She is a lady with two blemishes now, a significant time apart. She has pressing needs to care for a young child, and another on the way.”
Sentencing the couple, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told them: “For a couple of people who are young parents, with really serious responsibilities at home, this was frankly very silly behaviour indeed.
“To put yourself at risk of prison, when you have the lives you do, is utterly stupid behaviour.
“You seem to have turned the corner, because you seem to have been out of trouble for 18 months. I very much hope what you were doing was youthful misbehaviour, rather than anything more serious.
“I am not going to send to prison two people who need to be there at home for their two children.”