Men who stole pensioner's £30k mobile home from Devon yard jailed

02-07-21  Stewart Gregory and Darren Baseley- Nick Irving
Stewart Gregory (right) and Darren Baseley (left). Credit: Nick Irving

Two men have been jailed for a combined total of almost four years after being convicted of theft in connection with the disappearance of a mobile home.

Sonia McColl's £30,000 house was taken while being transported to Barnstaple in 2017.

Stewart Gregory, 43, of Aldershot Road, Normandy, Surrey, was sentenced to 22 months in prison.

Meanwhile, Darren Baseley, 47, of Henrys Run, Cranbrook, was sentenced to 20 months in prison. 

Sonia McColl's stolen mobile home. Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

On the day of the move, the house was taken to a haulage yard near Cullompton to be repaired. But the next morning, it had gone.

Miss McColl told ITV News the incident 'was a total nightmare' that she was 'consumed by'.

Sonia McColl Credit: ITV News

Speaking in court today, July 2, she said: "The impact from the theft of my home has dominated, changed and consumed every part of my existence for the last three years.  Fear, loss, anger and stress have been my constant day and night companions - but these are only words - you have to experience this to know how it truly feels.

"I really did not know what I could do to make things better as everything I had worked all my life for was gone and I could not buy another home.  "For over a year, I was homeless, reliant on the goodwill of family, friends, B & Bs and park home residents around our country who offered me a bed. "After many months, I received a telephone call saying that I was being offered a place to live. Sadly, my fear of being found has made me exclude myself from the electoral register, have a withheld telephone number, and remain as anonymous as I can. 

"In all honesty, I can’t really imagine how I will ever truly feel safe again.  Along with insult, that is what those thieves have done to me, and they have shown no remorse whatsoever." 

After the pair were sentenced Miss McColl said that she was pleased that they were serving time but she still has no idea where her home could be.

In 2014, she was awarded an OBE for her campaigning work for the rights of mobile homeowners. And she says she feels this profile led to her being personally targeted.

In summing up the judge said he believed the pair had not been forthcoming about the whereabouts of Miss McColl's home. Credit: ITV News

In summing up, the judge said he believed the pair had not been forthcoming about the whereabouts of Miss McColl's mobile home and that Baseley, in particular, had abused the pensioner's trust.

Miss McColl hopes today's sentencing will draw a line under her ordeal.