Man jailed after being found in stolen motorhome on remote Scottish isle

A man who fled from police and hid in a stolen motorhome in Scotland has been jailed.

Bradley Peacock was found by Police Scotland in the stolen motorhome, which was bearing false registration plates, on the Isle of Bute, Argyllshire, on November 23, almost two months after driving away from police in a stolen car, in Burnhope, County Durham.

The 24-year-old defendant, went before a court in Greenock, Scotland, accused of having no driving licence and no “L” plates, but was transferred to County Durham, to answer for a string of offences committed earlier last year.

He appeared before Durham Crown Court on Friday (February 2) for sentence for all the offences committed in this jurisdiction between December 2022 and last September.

Jonathan Hartley, prosecuting, said this included causing £230 worth of damage to a caravan on Morrison Industrial Estate, Stanley, between December 2022 and January, last year, and breaking into a Transit-type van in the Stanley area, from which £2,000-worth of tools were stolen, on April 1.

Peacock, whose finger prints were recovered from the van, admitted breaking into it, but denied stealing the tools.

He was also jointly alleged to have tried to steal fuel from a storage trailer at a building site in Birtley, on July 3, for which he was arrested on a warrant in early August, but, having been granted bail, he failed attend court later that month.

Mr Harley said on September 28 the owner of a stolen Fiat car went to the village of Burnhope, after the vehicle was sighted, parked in Barron’s Way.

Peacock was asleep in the car, so police were called, and when officers arrived and approached the vehicle, he awoke and quickly reversed, before driving away.

Mr Harley said in doing so, he collided with another Fiat car, containing a seven-month pregnant woman who was hit by the activated air bags and feared for her unborn child.

Peacock fled in the stolen Fiat, colliding with the police vehicle parked nearby, as he did so.

The following day he stole a Ford Transit Motorhome from an address in Stanley.

Police Scotland stopped the motorhome, being driven by Peacock, on Bute on November 21.

The genuine registration plates were found inside the vehicle.

Mr Harley said among a schedule of other offences admitted by Peacock, included the theft of another motorhome, worth £18,000, taken in the Beamish area on July 1.

It was later found burned out in the Hawick area of the Scottish Borders.

Mr Harley said the theft of such vehicles indicated a “level of planning” on the defendant’s behalf.

Peacock admitted a range of offences, including dangerous driving, thefts and attempted theft of vehicles, attempted theft of fuel, vehicle interference, criminal damage plus various driving document infringements and court bail breaches.

Tony David, for Peacock, said it was not often that a Probation Service report recommends anything other then an immediate custodial sentence.

Addressing Recorder Paul Reid, Mr Davis said: “So, there will be no attempt to dissuade you from passing an immediate prison sentence, given the multiplicity of offences.

“He’s now been in custody for more than two months since his arrest in Scotland.

“Effectively, he had taken off after the incidents in late September, until he was detained on the isle of Bute.

“He panicked when police arrived when he awoke in that stolen car, then tried to avoid capture by going to Scotland.

“He regrets that decision and has been remanded in custody since his arrest. He’s not proud of any of the offences.”

Mr Davis said the defendant was, previously, “lightly convicted”, and comes across as, “a very immature young man.”

Recorder Reid described it as, “an extraordinary sequence of offending, with an apparent fascination for stealing motorhomes and driving off in them to Scotland.”

Mr Davis said: “Having a self-contained moveable cell has, perhaps, been something of a fascination for him.

“Ultimately, escaping to the wilderness of parts of Scotland shows he couldn’t face up to the strictures of the life he had.”

Imposing a total sentence of 31 months’ imprisonment, Recorder Reid said given the sheer number of offences committed by Peacock, it could have been a lot longer sentence, but for his youth and lack of previous offending history.

Peacock was also banned from driving for 28 months.

Detective Constable, Steve Mason, from West Durham CID said: “Targeting innocent, hardworking people is completely unacceptable.

“I hope that by putting him behind bars, we can bring some comfort to those who have suffered at the hands of Peacock by having their property damaged or stolen.

“By escaping to Scotland and running away from his crimes showed he had no remorse and thankfully, he now has had to face the consequences of his actions.”

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