The promising career of a Shropshire county cricketer lies in tatters today after he was jailed for selling a car stolen in a raid on a county home in which nearly £8,000 in cash and other items was taken.
Talented young paceman Martin David Delaney, who plays for Madeley Cricket Club and has also represented his county, told his flat-mates that a home in Waterlow Close, Priorslee, Telford, was empty and the owners were away on business.
The 20-year-old had been round there on April 21 this year with friend Katie Capon, a neighbour of the couple who had been entrusted with feeding the cat while they were away.
Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterday heard Miss Capon returned to the house the following morning to find it had been ransacked.
Most of the items, which included jewellery and hi-tech electrical gadgets, have never been recovered.
The court heard unemployed Delaney, of Kingsland, Arleston, Wellington, was caught on CCTV on April 25 selling a Peugeot 206 valued at £1,000 which had also been taken in the raid. He took it to a dealer at Taurus Metals scrap dealers in Ketley Brook, Telford, and sold it for just £150.
Mr Kevin Jones, prosecuting, said staff became suspicious and Delaney was arrested. The cricketer admitted to officers he had sold the car. But he denied any involvement in the raid – and refused to name those responsible for fear of reprisals. He had pleaded guilty to a single charge of handling stolen goods at a previous hearing.
Miss Sarah Cooper, for Delaney, said he had been paid £40 to dispose of the car.
“He was unemployed, £40 was on offer and he made the decision to take that,” she told the court.
Delaney was sentenced to 12 months in a young offenders’ institution.