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Padiham man stole partner's car and sold the parts on eBay
A NEW dad stole his partner’s car, sold the parts and reported it stolen to police, a court heard.
But Steven Oldfield, 26, was caught after he advertised parts on eBay and the fraud department became suspicious.
Victim Amy Roberts, who had just had a baby, knew nothing about what had happened, was paid £3,350 from an insurance claim and bought a replacement car.
The defendant deceived both her and the police, the court heard.
The hearing was told how Oldfield claimed he did it because he had money problems. He needed to fly to Tenerife where his father had died on holiday, and needed to pay 1,900 euros to repatriate the body.
The defendant, of Wordsworth Avenue, Padiham, had admitted theft of the VW Golf GT TDI on or between June 26 and 27.
He was given 12 weeks in jail, suspended for a year, and must pay £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.
Andrew Robinson, prosecuting, said the offence was a breach of trust. Oldfield told his partner the car had been stolen and she felt shocked, let down, upset and angry when she found out the truth.
She was also worried the insurance company would think she had something to do with it. Police went to the garage where the car had been dismantled.
The defendant was interviewed, owned up and said he had a large overdraft.
He said he had used the spare key then returned it to the house.
He removed the private number plates and put back the originals to avoid detection.
Mr Robinson said the defendant told police he had started selling the car parts to travellers to pay off his overdraft and got £700 for the engine. Oldfield said he felt sick and sorry over what he had done.
David Lawson, for Oldfield, described the case as extremely unusual and said he had had been going through a difficult time personally.
Oldfield's father had been suffering from terminal cancer and decided to book some holidays.
He died in Tenerife, had cashed in a number of policies and had spent them.
He said the defendant's partner was on maternity leave, the Golf was ‘on it's last legs’ and he had to go to Tenerife and bargain with the Spanish authorities over the cost of repatriation.
Oldfield owed £4,000 as well as having the overdraft.
Mr Lawson said: “The car needed a significant amount of work.
“He took it to a friend's garage and decided to strip it down to the parts to get out of the financial hole he was in.”