A jail term has been imposed on a man who seriously assaulted a victim near Margate and later robbed a delivery driver of his van in Longfield.

At Woolwich Crown Court on 25 February 2022, Mark Read, 36, formerly of St Patrick’s Gardens, Gravesend, was jailed for a total of eight and a half years after he was found guilty of robbery and admitted wounding with intent, burglary and conspiracy to steal.

Read tablet 1
Mark Read

The first offence took place in Garlinge, near Margate on 19 July 2018, when Read asked a man to borrow his lighter. After using the lighter, Read refused to return it to the man, leading to a brief argument.

Assault

Read then left the area but returned shortly afterward holding a wooden bat. He hit the victim to the arm and head, causing serious injuries.

Read was later identified from CCTV and arrested. A section of the bat which was recovered contained his DNA. Read committed further offences shortly before he was charged with the attack.

He provided information to an associate called Danny Darling before Darling stole a digger and a dumper truck from a building site in Nash Road, Margate on 7 September 2020.

The vehicles were taken to a location in Gravesend but were tracked down by Kent Police and linked to Darling. Following Darling’s arrest, messages on their phones showed he and Read had planned the thefts.

Read tablet 2
Danny Darling.

Thefts

Further investigation also linked Read and Darling to the theft of a camper van from Stourmouth, near Sarre on 13 September 2020 and the robbery of a delivery van in Hartley, Longfield the following day.

In the latter offence, the delivery driver was assaulted as he returned to his van after a delivery. A small Peugeot van was linked to both offences and Read and Darling were seen inside that van and arrested later the same day.

DNA evidence also linked Read to a burglary in Broadstairs the same month and Darling to five other vehicles thefts, all in Hernhill, near Faversham, that month.

Court

Darling was found guilty of the delivery van robbery following a trial and admitted offences of theft of a motor vehicle and conspiracy to steal. The 29-year-old, formerly of Ansell Avenue, Chatham, was jailed for four and a half years at the same sentencing hearing as Read.

Detective Constable Keith Rochford, one of Kent Police’s investigating officers, said: ‘Read is a repeat offender who, our investigations have shown, was prepared to use violence to steal vehicles around Kent.

‘He also resorted to serious violence in the assault he committed in Garlinge, and the use of a bat in that offence means we are lucky the victim was not even more seriously injured.

‘I am pleased that the number of offences Kent Police was able to prove he and his associate Darling had committed has led to them being jailed for considerable terms, preventing them stealing from further victims.’

By Ed

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