Scrapyard boss jailed after parts from car stolen in Leeds were found at his business premises
A scrapyard boss has been jailed after parts from stolen cars were recovered from his site.
Vehicle trackers showed that one vehicle was even taken straight to Mark Smith's company, A1 Car Recyclers Ltd in Upton, near Pontefract, immediately after being stolen.
Smith, 42, appeared at Leeds Crown Court alongside colleague Ricky Blyth, 30, after both men pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.
Angus Macdonald, prosecuting, told the court that police went to the 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.
Cars had been stolen in Leeds, Birmingham, Rotherham and Barnsley.
A Porsche stolen in Knottingley and been taken straight to Smith's site.
Parts recovered included air bags, steering wheels, window regulators and a gear box.
During the search, Blyth was spotted trying to leave the yard in a truck with the shell of a BMW on the back.
He was stopped and the car was found to have been stolen in Derbyshire.
Blyth later told the police that he had worked for Smith for about 18 months.
He claimed he had 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.
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 12-month community order with 10 rehabilitation activity requirement 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 marketplace for these burglaries."