A MAN who had his family’s caravan stolen claims he has been left £1,000 out of pocket – despite the thief being prosecuted.
Caravan owner David Hanley parked his Swift Anniversary caravan in a space at Gallagher Retail Park at Waterloo back in August, prior to leaving on a family holiday.
But when he returned just hours later the vehicle had been removed.
Police investigations led to John Freeth, 36, of Broomfield Road, Marsh, being arrested.
He later admitted in court he had taken the vehicle because he believed the caravan had been abandoned because of its ‘dishevelled’ state.
Freeth was handed a community order and £200 compensation plus £250 costs when he appeared before Huddersfield magistrates..
But Mr Hanley and his family feel it is not enough as the cost of the theft and repairs added up to around £1,200.
Mr Hanley told the Examiner: “Why should I have to pay £1,000 to have my caravan fixed when they have caught the man who stole it?
“All I want is justice. I am left footing the bill.”
Mr Hanley, of Rastrick, told the Examiner the caravan was not insured, but he could claim through his home insurance.
Asked if he would, he added: “I don’t think I should have to.
“The caravan was filled with our holiday belongings yet he said in court there were only two pairs of trainers.
“Who goes on holiday with just a couple of pairs of trainers and no clothes? How the courts haven’t recognised that is disgusting.”
Freeth told police that he thought that the vehicle – valued at around £3,000 – had been abandoned because it was in a “poor, dirty and dishevelled state”.
He said he planned to keep the vehicle and maybe sell it.
Mr Hanley said he had left the caravan at the retail park while he went to collect members of his family for the trip.
In the end, the family went to Lincolnshire in a borrowed caravan.