Woman from Lighthorne Heath who was paid to sell stolen Range Rovers escaped being jailed just days before Christmas ‘by the skin of her teeth'

A mother-of-three who was paid to sell stolen Range Rovers escaped being jailed just days before Christmas ‘by the skin of your teeth,’ a judge has told her.

Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 2:56 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 2:58 pm

Helen Boneham had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of handling stolen vehicles by assisting in their ‘retention, removal, disposal or realisation.’

Boneham (39) of Vulcan Way, Lighthorne Heath, was sentenced to 14 months in prison suspended for 12 months, with a rehabilitation activity and a 9pm-7am curfew for two months.

Prosecutor Olivia Whitworth said that in February 2017 a Range Rover Evoque worth £23,000 was stolen in London.

Helen Boneham had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of handling stolen vehicles by assisting in their retention, removal, disposal or realisation.

It was then sold by Boneham to an unsuspecting buyer who did not discover it had been stolen until he later had some work carried out – and it was found the number plates did not match the chassis number.

A Range Rover Sport had also been stolen in London in 2017 and was sold by Boneham on E-bay.

It was only when the new owner later took it for an MoT test that it was found it had false number plates.

And the sale of both vehicles was traced back to Boneham, who Miss Whitworth said had some old convictions, including drug offences, dating back to 2005.

Simon Hunka, defending, said: “These offences took place quite a long time ago, and she’s had it hanging over her for a long time. She is extremely concerned.”

Judge Peter Cooke interjected: “She’s right to be. Anyone who sells 55,000 quid’s worth of stolen cars ought to be.”

Mr Hunka conceded there was ‘no excuse for what she did,’ but said Boneham had been in an abusive marriage for 14 years, with both of them using class A drugs.

Although Boneham, a mother-of-three, had managed to get herself out of that addiction, ‘the residual financial issues were still there’ - and when the offer of making some money by selling the vehicles presented itself, she took it.

But Mr Hunka, handing in a reference, added that since then Boneham had turned her life around and has a job.

Sentencing Boneham, Judge Cooke told her: “The total value of these cars was £55,000 and you facilitated the sale of both of them.

“The man who bought the Range Rover Sport was conned out of £17,000 and the purchaser of the Evoque out of £18,000 in a similar fashion. You say you were persuaded to sell them in return for £500.

“This is very clear, cynical dishonesty you were willing to engage in, knowing people were being sold high-value stolen items.

“But you are a mother of three children, one of them only six years old, and you work at a care home where they obviously think very highly of you.

“Think how your youngest child would feel if you didn’t go home today. You are going home, but by the skin of your teeth. If you ever do anything like this again, your feet won’t touch the ground.”