Jammy Dodger thieves jailed

Jammy Dodger thieves jailed

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For the uninitiated, these are Jammie Dodgers.

Who doesn’t like a Jammie Dodger? Well for these five chaps, it seems like perhaps they like them a little too much. Having been involved in the theft of £20,000 worth of jammy treats, the men were sentenced to periods of imprisonment ranging from 16 months to 44 months.

What happened?

The news reports are typically scant on detail. But here’s what we know so far. Five men travelled from Liverpool to Gwent – the location of the Burton’s food factory in question. There, posing as employees of the courier firm DHL, gained access to the factory in stolen vehicles. The gang used a tractor unit and trailer – previously stolen from premises in Kent a month earlier – and a missing Network Rail crew bus which bore false numberplates. Once at the factory, one of the men visited the distribution office claiming to be there to make a legitimate pick up. Thereafter the men took a trailer (and presumably a cab) containing £20,000 worth of Jammie Dodger biscuits. The trailer was later found on the M62 with its contents emptied.

The Independent reported that when in court for sentencing, one of the men was heard to say to his co-defendants “does anyone want a biscuit?”. As all good journalists do, the author of the Independent story had done a bit of background and calculated roughly, given the price of biscuits, that £20,000 equates to approximately 240,000 Jammie Dodgers. Quite a haul we think you’d agree.

Offences and sentences

Anthony Edgerton – the “gang leader”

  • Theft
  • Handling stolen goods
  • Driving while disqualified
  • Guilty plea

44 months

Paul Price

  • Theft
  • Handling stolen goods

Guilty plea

 40 months

Kieron Price

  • Theft

Presumed guilty plea

18 months

Stephen Burrow

  • Theft

Presumed guilty plea

16 months

Aaron Walsh

Aged 25

  • Theft

Presumed guilty plea

16 months

The theft offences relate to the Jammie Dodger theft. The handling offences relate to the possession of the trailer unit (and its contents – £43,000 worth of lager) previously stolen in Kent.

The prosecution appears to have placed the value of the theft at more than £100,000, presumedly including the value of both trailers in that calculation.

And so we turn to the guidelines. The theft guidelines apply. With a value at £100,000 and an operation that seems to be fairly described as sophisticated and pre-planned, it appears this offence falls within Category 1 “Harm”. As for culpability, we dont have details as to the respective roles, but it appears that Egerton – the leader – would be in a leading role and therefore high culpability for the purposes of the guideline. That gives a starting point of 3.5 years. The rest of the group are likely to fall within Category 1 Harm and Medium Culpability on the basis that they played a significant role where the offence was carried out by a group. The starting point is therefore 2 years.

Edgerton and Price also fell to be sentenced for handling. The guidelines provide for a sentence (depending on the precise value etc.) of around 12 months. This would likely be consecutive as it relates to a different theft. That said, the defence may have argued that the offences should be seen as one course of activity and therefore attract concurrent sentences. Either way, it is the total that matters.

For Edgerton and Price, 44 and 40 months seems about right; starting points of 40 months for the theft and 12 months for the handling make 52 months. It is likely that that starting point was increased to around 60 months for aggravation such as previous convictions and/or being on bail or licence. With the guilty pleas, those sentences would be reduced (depending on how much credit was given) to around 40-45 months. The difference between the two is likely to reflect their respective roles, as Edgerton was described as the gang leader, it is only fair that he receives an uplift to reflect that.

As for the others, starting at 2 years, guilty pleas (and perhaps personal mitigation such as young age in relation to Walsh, or limited function performed) would reduce those sentences to around 18 months, which is what they received.

All in all, these sentences seem in line with what we would expect given the information in the press.

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Lyndon is the General Editor of Current Sentencing Practice and the Criminal Appeal Reports (Sentencing)

2 COMMENTS

  1. Not an easy item to offload, surely. One has to wonder how many unscrupulous traders it takes to create a black market for £20k worth of one brand of biscuits. I hope some prosecutions for receiving follow.

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