A Leicester offender is one of the first in the city to have a location tracking device fitted so the authorities know where he is.
Unlike the widely used curfew tag, designed to monitor someone at home during a certain time period, the new scheme means a person can be tracked when they are out and about.
Shaun Sullivan was caught with his step-son, Jordan Smith in a stolen car carrying thousands of pounds’ worth of equipment taken in a house burglary.
The 49-year-old admitted handling the stolen property – work tools and a gas boiler – in the early hours of September 20 last year.
Sullivan, who has 51 offences on his criminal record, was given a suspended jail sentence, and a four-month period of GPS tracking, known as trail monitoring.
Sullivan’s tracking requirement is believed to be one of the first orders of its kind to be handed out at Leicester Crown Court, after the new scheme was announced earlier this year.
Probation officer Sue Baxter said after the hearing: “It is the first time I’ve dealt with a case using this new pilot scheme.
“Location tagging will monitor someone’s whereabouts and provide the supervising probation officer the right to access a subject’s location information as and when required, thereby enabling the officer to establish a pattern.
“It will assist the supervising officer to review the person’s movements and will support discussions about their lifestyle and behaviour.
“It’s not restricting someone’s liberty as a curfew requirement does.”
Almas Ben-Ariba, prosecuting, said a house undergoing renovation at The Fairway, in Oadby, was targeted by 21-year-old Smith who forced an entry through a kitchen ceiling.
A workman discovered the break-in when he arrived in the morning.
About £1,000 of damage was caused and the workman’s tools, worth £4,000, were missing along with a gas boiler and associated items valued at £2,500.
The police had already stopped and arrested Smith in a stolen Ford Fiesta with false number plates and with the stolen items from the burglary inside.
Sullivan, of The Newry, near Saffron Lane, Leicester, was a passenger in the Fiesta.
Sullivan denied any involvement in the burglary, but accepted that he would have helped to dispose of the items.
Smith, of Welford Road, Leicester, admitted burglary. He also admitted possessing criminal property in relation to the Ford Fiesta.
The workman at the property was devastated by the loss of his valuable work tools, Miss Ben-Ariba told the court.
They were returned to him by the police three weeks later, but the delay caused financial loss due to his inability to continue working.
‘Obsession with cars’
Judge Philip Head said: “Sullivan, you were stopped in a car, driven by your step-son, with stolen property in it.
“Smith, your counsel says that much of your offending has arisen from an obsession with cars.
“You were also disqualified from driving at the time – but that matter has already been dealt with by the magistrates, which I take into account when considering the totality of your sentence today.
“The Fiesta had been stolen (by persons unknown) in a burglary in August 2018 and was worth £1,800.
“It found its way into your hands in circumstances where you accept you knew or suspected it was stolen.
“You were driving it at 2am on September 20 last year with your co-defendant, Sullivan, as your passenger.
“Shortly before that, someone’s unoccupied home in the process of renovation was burgled.
“What you did had a dreadful impact on the workman who had not got the tools to carry on working for several weeks.”
What was said in mitigation
Lisa Hardy, mitigating, for Smith, who has 16 prior offences on his record, said her client purchased the Fiesta “out of stupidity” due to a preoccupation with driving and vehicles, and had not personally fitted the false number plates.
She said Smith had already served a four-month custodial sentence in relation to driving the Fiesta on the night of the burglary when disqualified.
He committed the break-in due to unemployment and financial difficulties at the time, she added.
Miss Hardy said that Smith was “sorry” for the distress caused to the workman and the householder, and for the damage caused.
Vaitha Vasanti, mitigating for Sullivan said: “He suffers from anxiety and depression.”
She said Sullivan had gone out for a walk following an argument with his partner that night and, having chanced upon his step-son in the Fiesta, accepted a lift – shortly before they were stopped by the police.
“Having accepted a lift from his step-son, he realised the items in the car were stolen and he would have been involved in passing them on,” she said.
Smith was jailed for 22 months and banned from driving for 14 months.
Sullivan was given a 41-week jail sentence, suspended for two years, with a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
He was also placed on the four-month trial monitoring programme enabling his location to be tracked between the hours of 6pm and 9am, as the offence he admitted took place at night. His daytime location will not be tracked under the order.
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