Offender stole car while owner was at wedding
A MAN who stole a car while its owner attended a wedding before drunkenly crashing it has been banned from the road for life.
John Copeland racked up his twelfth conviction for driving while disqualified and his fourth for drink driving over a period in Kirkcaldy last month.
And twice in the two months before the incident he had dodged jail on other charges – instead being handed community payback orders.
One of those was passed down just days before he stole the car.
Copeland was on bail and on the streets when he spotted the unlocked car – parked hurriedly as its owner rushed to a wedding – before stealing it on 13 July.
Three days later he smashed it in the Fife town’s Links Street, before being spotted staggering away from the scene.
Fiscal depute Claire Millar told Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court: “The car was parked in somewhat of a hurry and the owner inadvertently failed to lock the vehicle.
“After the wedding, parties returned and it became apparent it had been stolen.”
“Three days later on Links Street, Kirkcaldy, residents became aware of a large crashing noise outside.
“It became apparent that a vehicle had been involved in an accident. “Police were contacted and the accused was found staggering along the street.
“He was talked to by police, and officers could smell alcohol on the accused’s breath.
“He was taken to the police station and found to be over the limit.” Copeland, 35, of Cotburn Crescent, Burntisland, Fife, pleaded guilty to charges of theft, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and drink driving.
Defence solicitor Stephen Morrison told the court Copeland had an “extensive record” and accepted full responsibilty. He said: “He is 35 and he has had these issues since he was 16, and he is fed up of the lifestyle that remains for him.”
Sheriff Richard Macfarlane banned Copeland from driving for life and jailed him for 12 months.”
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