Olympic games makers stole car in Calne to avoid walk home to Chippenham (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Olympic games makers stole car in Calne to avoid walk home to Chippenham
A pair of teenage Olympic games makers have narrowly escaped jail after burgling a house so they could drive the seven miles home.
Jack Haney and Stephen Kennedy wanted to grab a set of car keys to save them having to walk from Calne to Chippenham in the early hours of the morning.
But the 19-year-olds, of Downing Street, Chippenham, who both worked as volunteers at the London Olympics, were caught when they took the Saab convertible out for a joyride the following day.
The teenager had been out at a friend's house in Calne when they tried to get a lift from Kennedy's mum, who is a taxi driver, in the early hours of Sunday August 12.
When they couldn't raise her on the phone they initially joked that they should try front doors to see if anyone had left one open.
As they walked along Woodland Park Haney found a house that was unlocked and nipped inside to grab the keys to the 57-reg car as well as the householder's wallet.
Colin Meeke, prosecuting, said Jonathan Knights and his wife had guests in the house and they were all asleep at the time.
The first they knew of the crime was when Mrs Knights saw the vehicle gone in the morning and her husband realised his wallet and keys had been taken from the study.
Mr Meeke said the break in was reported and police on the edge of Chippenham spotted the car being driven shortly before midnight on the Sunday.
When it was pulled over Haney was behind the wheel and Kennedy the passenger and they were linked to the break-in when other stolen items were found on them.
He said that both admitted what they had done when they were questioned by the police.
Haney and Kennedy, who live together, admitted burglary, taking without consent, and not having a licence or insurance.
Kevin Farquharson, for Haney, said his client fully accepts the utterly reprehensible behaviour he took part in.
He said his client had left school with nine GCSEs and until recently lived with him mum having been estranged from his father, who has now died.
Although he was currently out of work he had been in employment including working for a year at an egg production plant.
During the summer he said he worked at the Olympics on the triathlon and volleyball and now wants to join the army.
Alex Daymond, for Kennedy, said his client had also worked at the Olympics and was also currently out of work.
He said they were caught in the car because after driving it home they left it thinking it would be found, but when it was there later went out for another spin.
Mr Daymond said: "He accepts he behaved like a complete idiot. He didn't think of the impact on the victim sat the time."
Passing sentence Recorder Michael Vere-Hodge QC said "You must understand that all burglaries of dwelling houses at night when they are occupied.
"I causes enormous amounts of distress to the householders. they don't know the sort of person that has been into their house and they assume the worst."
But he said because of their age and lack of previous convictions he could avoid jailing them.
Both were put on one year community orders with supervision and 40 hours of unpaid work and Haney was also ordered to do ten sessions of education and training.