Man played ‘critical’ role in ring that helped stolen cars go missing

A man who played a ‘critical’ role in a ring that enabled car thieves across the Midlands to unload vehicles in Leicester has been convicted.

Matthew Newall was sentenced to four years in prison this week for conspiracy to conceal – a crime he committed alongside two others in 2020.

Anthony Ledeatt, of Desford Road in Thurlaston, and Grant Vernon of Ronald Toon Road, Earl Shilton, have previous convictions for their roles receiving stolen cars in Leicestershire and the West Midlands.

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In December 2020, Leicestershire Police executed a warrant at Matthew Newall’s home in Freemans Lane, Burbage, and at a site he was associated with in Leicester Forest East.

Newall was already out on bail for similar offenses when these raids were carried out.

The 30-year-old man was arrested and later charged with conspiracy to conceal between July and December of the same year. He pleaded guilty to the offense in October 2021.

During the investigation, detectives identified two other men – Ledeatt and Vernon – who were involved in receiving stolen vehicles.

Police found CCTV footage of Ledeatt and Vernon going to gas stations, refueling stolen cars, before driving them around the country with fake plates.

Newall’s role in the network was described as “critical” by the investigator.

DC Damian Young said: “By receiving the stolen goods, the three men provided car thieves with the opportunity to unload their stolen vehicles.

“His role was critical in the vehicle theft process, so we are pleased that he admitted to the offenses and hopefully prevented him from facilitating these offenses in the future.

“We have worked closely with local authorities and jointly identified concerns about the Leicester Forest East site.

“We will continue to carry out operations of this nature and to tackle those that facilitate crime and cause concern within our communities.”

This week, Newall was sentenced to four years in prison.

Ledeatt, 60, and Vernon, 29, pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property in December last year.

Ledeatt was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for 24 months, and Vernon was sentenced to a community order.

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