Joke’s on you: man jailed for police car theft

A man who stole a police car for a “joke” was not laughing when he was jailed for six months yesterday.

Ross Parsons, 47, took the car from Court Street, Hamilton, after police officers left it unattended with the keys inside as they carried out a routine licence check at the Spinning Wheel bar, Magistrates’ Court heard

Parsons, from Warwick, who also admitted a drink-driving charge, apologised to the court and admitted that his actions had been dangerous.

He said: “I’ve been deterred from getting into the front and the back of a police car.

“I meant it as a joke, but the joke was on me.”

Shocked officers found their patrol car missing when they returned and reported it.

A later review of CCTV camera footage spotted Parsons taking the car and driving away.He abandoned the car on nearby Elliot Street.

Police found Parsons outside the Spinning Wheel with the car keys still with him and arrested him. The incident happened on April 28.

Parsons was fined $1,000 and banned from the roads for 18 months on the impaired driving charge.

Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe also sentenced Parsons to three months in jail on a separate charge of having an offensive weapon.

The court also heard that Parsons was caught by police swinging a metal baseball bat in the car park of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital on April 8.

Parsons pleaded not guilty to the offensive weapon charge when he appeared in Magistrates’ Court on April 10.

But he was found guilty after a trial on May 6.

Parsons told the court yesterday that he had the bat to protect himself and his girlfriend as he walked her home.

However, Jason Outerbridge, for the prosecution, said that was not reasonable grounds.

Mr Wolffe ordered that the two jail terms should run concurrently.

He said: “I could’ve given you more, but I accept that this is an incident that you regret.”

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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