Brothers avoid jail in car scam
March 14, 2013
Two brothers involved in a ‘car ringing’ operation have swerved a prison sentence.
Jason and Christopher Bunce were convicted of using stolen parts in a car repair workshop at a farm in Mortimer.
But the judge decided to give the pair suspended sentences after hearing of their previous good record.
Reading Crown Court had heard how police raided the workshop where Jason, of Wheble Drive, Woodley, ran his car repair business in February 2010.
They found stolen car parts and one vehicle which had a stolen gearbox and car stereo installed and another contained a stolen engine.
The parts were found to be from cars taken from Reading, Hampshire and Essex.
John Barker, defending Jason, said his client had kept one of the vehicles containing stolen parts for himself.
Mr Barker said: “My submission would be this is very small beer indeed and does not sit easily in other cases your honour has looked at which can only be described as car ringing operations, which is a misnomer in this case I would say.”
Anthony Montgomery, defending Christopher, of Waingels Road, Woodley, said his client ran a van hire firm in Basingstoke Road, Reading, but nothing was found to be wrong with any of the vehicles in his fleet.
The court heard he had a separate company called SNC which was involved in the second-hand car business which his brother worked on.
Jason, 39, and Christopher, 53, were jointly charged and convicted of two counts of converting criminal property on January 23 after a two-and-a-half-week trial.
They were also convicted on three further counts of possessing criminal property and Christopher was found guilty of selling a car to a garage which contained stolen parts.
Sentencing on March 1, Judge Ian Grainger: “I’m satisfied that each of you were equally involved in this operation.
“Neither of you could have carried out this operation without both of you knowing what each other were doing.
“I see little to choose between you in terms of culpability.”
He sentenced Jason to a total of 10 months jail suspended for 18 months and Christopher to 15 months suspended for 18 months with the condition they both carry out 250 hours of unpaid work in that 250 hours of unpaid work in that time.