Scrap boss jailed after stolen car parts found at his yard
A scrapyard boss has been jailed after parts from stolen cars were recovered from his site.
Trackers showed that one vehicle was even taken straight to Mark Smith's company, A1 Car Recyclers Ltd in Upton, immediately after being stolen.
Smith, 42, appeared at Leeds Crown Court alongside colleague Ricky Blyth, 30, each charged with handling stolen goods.
Prosecutor Angus Macdonald told the court that police, acting on intelligence, went to the breakers yard on New Lane in March of 2018 to search the premises.
There they found parts from seven stolen vehicles including a Ford Focus, BMWs and a Porsche.
The cars had been stolen from Birmingham, Leeds, Rotherham, Barnsley. The Porsche had been stolen from Knottingley and taken straight to Smith's site.
Parts recovered included air bags, steering wheels, window regulators and a gear box.
During their search, Ricky Blyth was spotted driving a truck trying to leave the yard with the shell of a BMW on the back. He was stopped and the car was found to have been stolen from Derbyshire.
Blyth later told the police that he had worked for Smith for about 18 months, that he bought the BMW from a friend but said he did not know it was stolen.
Blyth has three previous convictions, including theft and attempted burglary.
Smith has no previous convictions.
They both denied handling stolen goods and were due to stand trial, but later changed their pleas to guilty.
A pre-sentence report read out to the court said that Smith, a father of two, had run the breakers yard for the past 10 years, accepted his involvement and may have "turned a blind eye" by failing to carry out proper checks on where car parts came from.
But Judge Tom Bayliss QC did not accept this and said: "It's rather more than being negligent."
The report into Blyth found that he also failed to carry out proper checks and was remorseful.
The court was told he has dyslexia and could not read or write, and had never had proper employment.
Blyth, of Strickland Road, Upton, was given a a 12-month community order with 10 rehabilitation days.
Smith, of Brierley Road, Brierley, was handed an eight-month jail term.
Judge Bayliss QC told Smith: "You have tried to minimise your role it seems to me.
"You played a significant role in this business, it was a dishonest business.
"You were knowingly allowing thieves to bring materials to you from burglaries.
"You were giving a market place for these burglaries."