Delivery driver denies involvement in Pirelli tyre theft conspiracy
One of three men accused of stealing £102,000 worth of tyres from Pirelli’s Carlisle factory between August 2013 and May 2014 has appeared in Carlisle Crown Court this week to answer a charge of conspiracy to commit theft. Graham Wait, who denies any wrongdoing and says he was not involved in the conspiracy, has entered a not guilty plea.
The News & Star reports that alleged partner in crime Mark Claxton, who is now awaiting sentencing after admitting in August 2015 that he conspired to steal the tyres, appeared as a witness for the prosecution. Claxton was a shift supervisor at the DHL distribution centre in Dalston Road at the time of the conspiracy, and he told the court he supplied delivery driver Graham Wait with tyres obtained from the warehouse at Pirelli’s Dalston Road plant. He said Wait would tell him what sort of tyre he wanted, and Claxton would supply them to him for £40 each.
The third person charged with conspiracy to commit theft, Barry White, was found not guilty in August 2015. White, an acquaintance of Graham Wait, admitted to selling 358 Pirelli tyres – which had a total retail worth of more than £102,000 – on eBay for around £62,000. In his defence, White stated he had no idea they’d been stolen, claiming that Wait told him the tyres were purchased directly from Pirelli at cost price.
Pirelli became aware that tyres stolen from one of its plants were being sold online after it purchased four tyres from White on eBay and matched them with output from the Dalston road factory.