BURGLARS who were caught after expensive jet-skis were stolen from an Anglesey yard - and later found in Rhyl and St Asaph - have been spared jail.

Three men appeared at Caernarfon Crown Court for sentence via video link from HMP Berwyn on Friday morning.

They were:

  • Konstantinos Vasilopoulous, aged 22 and of Empire Avenue in London,
  • Iulica Pislea, aged 47 and of no fixed abode,
  • Alexandru Pislea, aged 21 and of Upsdell Avenue in London.

Rosemary Proctor, prosecuting, told the court that all three had been convicted of burglary at a previous hearing.

Ms Proctor explained that on May 19 this year an Anglesey-based caravan and boat storage business had a motorhome, five caravans and three jet-skis in a secured and well maintained shed.

The next day, the owner of the neighbouring land discovered three jet-ski trailers abandoned on his land and a fence separating his property and the storage business' had been broken.

When the shed was checked, the padlock had been removed and replaced with a piece of string.

The three jet-skis - collectively worth around £35,000 - were gone.

It turned out that police spotted and attempted to stop a white transit van on the A55 on the night of May 19.

The van didn't stop and was found abandoned a short time later.

Alexandru Pislea and Konstantinos Vasilopoulous were found following an area search - and both tried to run, but were caught.

Meanwhile, police found another white transit van parked up in the area with five men standing around it.

Iulica Pislea was one of them and was apprehended when all of them tried to flee.

Both of the vans - one found near St Asaph and the other near Rhyl - contained one of the stolen jet-skis.

The third jet-ski was found abandoned in a field.

Ms Proctor told the court the operation "clearly involved some planning" and that it was unclear in what condition the jet-skis were returned.

Simon Killeen, defending Iulica Pislea, said: "There was no evidence of any damage to them.

"The Crown has been extremely fair in its assessment of the culpability in this incident - they don't contend in any way that any of these people are the masterminds behind this plan.

"He's been in custody since his arrest, which is close to a month.

"The probation service has suggested alternatives to immediate prison.

"I submit Your Honour need not impose immediate custody.

"The defendant has indicated he's willing to cooperate with rehabilitation activity."

Joshua Gorst, defending Alexandru Pislea, said: "He resides permanently with his parents in Greece and has no previous convictions.

"The pre-sentence report tells of a young man who seems to have been swept along with some of the other family members.

"It notes a lack of maturity and someone who is easily influenced by others.

"He was remorseful in the report an has expressed in clear terms his resolve not to re-offend.

"His ultimate desire is to return to Greece as soon as possible."

Ember-Jade Wong, defending Konstantinos Vasilopoulous, said: "It's clear he too is a young man and has seemingly involved himself with those who are more criminally sophisticated.

"He has found himself in custody for the first time and it has been very difficult indeed - but he recognises that's a consequence of his offending.

"It appears this is a young man probation feel they can work with and he can benefit from their intervention."

Judge Petts told the three men: "You were part of a gang that broke into a storage yard.

"This was clearly a well-planned operation; the gang had travelled a long distance and knew what it was going to get.

"Unsurprisingly, all of you say this burglary was not your idea."

Iulica Pislea broke down in tears as Judge Petts announced that all three defendants would receive suspended sentences.

They were as follows:

  • Konstantinos Vasilopoulous: four months custody, suspended for 12 months.
  • Iulica Pislea: six months custody suspended for 12 months.
  • Alexandru Pislea: four months custody, suspended for 12 months.