6:10pm Saturday 2nd June 2012
THREE men from Blaenau Gwent admitted trying to steal diesel from a French lorry parked on the Heads of the Valleys road.
Thomas Anthony Smith, 22, Woodville Road, Cwm, Rhys Coughlin, 20, of Waundeg, Nantybwch and Christopher Bevan, 24, of Siloam Cottages, Tafarnaubach, appeared at Caerphilly Magistrates' Court.
They all admitted attempted theft from a motor vehicle while Bevan also pleaded guilty to possessing 24 tablets of class C diazepam.
Prosecutor Steve Lane told the court that lorry driver Paul Franks had pulled up just off the Heads of the Valleys road at Tredegar for a rest period on January 31.
At around 9.20pm, he was disturbed by the voices. He looked out of to see men tampering with his diesel tank.
Police were called and they caught the three defendants in Smith's silver Vauxhall Corsa in which were six five gallon drums.
It was after they were arrested that Bevan's house was searched and diazepam found.
No diesel was actually taken and District Judge Richard Williams said: "It was an attempt to relieve a French lorry driver of some or all of the diesel he had in his tank. The target was vulnerable and in isolation after having to park up and take a rest period."
District Judge Williams said diesel is "high value now" and sentenced all three men to 100 hours unpaid work, while they are all banned from driving for three months.
They must also pay £85 costs and £15 victim surcharge and Bevan had no extra penalty for possessing diazepam.
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