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Reading Magistrates' Court: Judge expresses surprise at Hungerford man's 'astonishing catalogue' of crimes

A JUDGE has expressed astonishment at the behaviour of a Hungerford man who went spectacularly off the rails despite no previous convictions.

The 56-year-old had never been in trouble before when he decided to take a car, use his victim's credit cards and go careering round a holiday resort in it after taking cannabis and cocaine.

In the dock at Reading Magistrates' Court on Thursday, June 9, was Mark Neville Quigley, of Lancaster Square.

Reading Magistrates Courts. (55914718)
Reading Magistrates Courts. (55914718)

Charlotte Webster, prosecuting, said the car owner left her vehicle, containing her purse and credit cards, in her driveway overnight and was distraught to find it missing next morning.

She was also horrified to see unauthorised transactions in her bank account, the court heard.

Police were alerted and spotted Mr Quigley behind the wheel.

Ms Webster said: "They caused the vehicle to stop and formed the opinion that Mr Quigley was under the influence of something.

"He later tested positive for cannabis and cocaine, above the specified limits."

Mr Quigley admitted taking a black Volkswagen Golf without the consent of the owner.

He further admitted two charges of drug-driving, multiple offences of speeding, and fraud by dishonestly buying petrol and other goods using the car owner's bank cards.

All the above offences were committed in Devon and Cornwall – in Newquay, Saltash, Plymouth, St Columb, St Magwan, Cheriton Bishop, Stowford Lewdown and Crownhill – on August 25 last year.

Mike Davis, defending, said his client had never been in trouble before and appeared to have suffered something of a mental breakdown.

He had gone to a holiday resort to think through some personal issues and had taken the car on a whim, the court heard.

Mr Davis added: "He doesn't really know why he took the car... it was a period of madness, of sorts.

"He is remorseful and has seen his doctor to seek help."

Mr Davis said his client, who was married but separated, has been prescribed medication and was now "in a much better place".

District judge Samuel Goozee said: "This is an astonishing catalogue of offences for someone who has never been in trouble before."

He made Mr Quigley subject to a 12-month community order with 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

In addition, Mr Quigley was fined £300 and ordered to pay £85 costs.

He was also required to pay his victim £54.91 compensation for the bank card bills, in lieu of an otherwise statutory victim services surcharge.

Finally, Mr Quigley was banned from driving for two years.

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