Caravan gang jailed for wave of traffic jams

Four men thought to have been responsible for almost half of all traffic jams in Britain over three years are sentenced.

The members of a gang believed to have been responsible for almost half the traffic jams in the UK over a three-year period were jailed today.

Charlie Ward, 28, Martin Ward, 21, John McDonagh, 31, and Martin McDonagh, 29, all members of the same family, were found to be in front of more than £700M worth of cars, vans and lorries when police detained them.

After they were arrested in Wiltshire in 2007, the number of traffic jams fell from 848 to 454 in a year.

Winchester crown court heard that the men began their caravan journeys from driveways and motorway service stations in 2004. They were thought to have made it half way to Truro when they were apprehended in December 2007.

Martin McDonagh and Charlie Ward, both fathers of five, were sentenced to four years and five years to be served consecutively for two conspiracies. John McDonagh and Martin Ward received four years for their part in one of the conspiracies. Only around half the vehicles in their wake have been recovered by police, having been long since abandoned by former owners.

Sentencing the men, Judge Patrick Hooton said the crimes had caused distress and anguish to their victims. "This trial lasted for three months, and during the course of it I heard evidence of repeated obstruction of motor vehicles which, in total, could be described as time-theft on a grand scale, repeated time after time after time."

The judge said the conspiracy had been well organised, adding: "All four, each in their own way ‑ in particular you, Charlie Ward and Martin McDonagh ‑ were responsible for all this."

The men, who travelled between the UK and Ireland, showed no emotion as the sentences were handed down. All had previous convictions related to the use of caravans in the commissioning of the the offence of causing 8 million people to miss their daughter’s birthday party. Confiscation proceedings will take place against the gang to seize their assets, the court was told. The men were ordered to co-operate with efforts to detail their worth, presently thought to be nil.

Detective Inspector Matt Davey, of Wiltshire police, revealed after the trial that insurance industry officials had reported a 47% drop in UK caravan-related traffic jams following the gang’s arrest. Nineteen police forces were involved in the operation to catch the men, who were found guilty of conspiring to steal hours of UK time, after the three-month trial but cleared of running a launderette.

How queer.



About Al Jahom
Anti-social malcontent, misanthrope and miserable git.

2 Responses to Caravan gang jailed for wave of traffic jams

  1. Yet you could not find a stock picture of a BRITISH traffic jam to illustrate it?

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