HONDA thief Jeremy Benfield avoided prison for the second time this morning, when he was given a suspended sentence for stealing a £30,000 CR-V from the production plant in October last year.

Benfield, 42, of Kenwin Close, Stratton, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment by Judge Philip Wassall at Swindon Crown Court, but had it suspended for two years.

This was the second occasion the former Honda worker dodged prison, having been handed a suspended 16-week sentence in April 2012, following a previous theft from the plant on March 20, 2012.

Benfield was also ordered to work for 200 hours unpaid and commit to supervision by the probation service for the next two years.

Judge Wassall was sentencing Benfield for the theft of a brand new Honda CR-V, on October 16, 2013, from the Japanese car firm’s plant in Highworth Road.

The thief used his knowledge of the site and a uniform from his previous employment to deceive gatekeepers, access the car, and then attach licence plates to it, which were taken from another car at the plant.

Benfield then clocked up 1,700 miles in the car for approximately two weeks before sightings of the car were reported to the police, who confirmed the chassis number was that of the model reported missing by Honda.

In sentencing, the judge said: “Reading between the lines, you are clearly on a downward spiral and you need to pull yourself out of it.

“You must begin to accept some responsibility for your actions. It is about time you had some self reflection.

“You are looking like a man with a grudge. You are known to be suffering with depression, but you must be prepared to accept the spiral you have got yourself into.

“This has led to this distorted way of thinking you have.

“There is a real need for you to engage the programmes the probation service to deal with your thinking skills.”