Man jailed for storing stolen hi-vis clothing worth £12,000

Lawrence Bugeja admitted controlling and coercive behaviour and criminal damage at Ipswich Crown Court.

Dean Edwards was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

An Essex man who was jailed for 15 years for his involvement in a drive-by shooting in Colchester a decade ago has been jailed for handling boxes of stolen hi-vis clothing worth £12,000.

Police officers who executed a search warrant at a lock-up that had been rented by 48-year-old Dean Edwards found 44 boxes of the high visibility clothing, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Jailing him for seven months, Judge Emma Peters said he had clearly acquired the goods for resale.

Edwards, of Musk Close, Stanway, Colchester, admitted handling stolen hi-vis clothing belonging to Orbit International between November 5 last year and March 2 this year.

In addition to being jailed, Edwards was ordered to pay £1,090 costs.

Mitchell Cohen, prosecuting, said police discovered Edwards had a rented lock-up container while they were investigating other matters which weren’t proceeded with.

He said Edwards had rented the container for six months and had paid the owner £600 cash in advance.

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Mr Cohen said Edwards was arrested after the boxes of clothing were discovered and during police interviews he’d remained silent.

Matthew Morgan, for Edwards, said his client had no involvement in the theft of the stolen clothing and had stored the items in the rented lock-up for onward sale.

He accepted that Edwards, who has 64 previous convictions, had an unattractive history but said his last conviction for dishonesty was a burglary in 1997.

The court heard that in 2013 Edwards was jailed for 15 years after he and another man were convicted of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life and following his recent arrest he’d been recalled to prison until September 2027.

During his trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, the court heard that damage was caused to the wall of the TP Sports Bar in Queen Street, Colchester, during the early hours of September 15 after shots were fired from a car.

One of the shots had flown past a doorman working at the bar.