November 20, 2021 10.44 am

We are appealing for information after the theft of 220 solar panels and two high value invertors.

The theft took place on Midville Lane in Stickney on 16 November.*

If you have any information to assist our enquiry, or you saw any suspicious activity in the area, please get in touch in one of the following ways:

  • By calling 101 quoting incident 187 of November 19.
  • By emailing [email protected] quoting 187 of November 19 in the subject line.
  • If you wish to remain anonymous, you can report via the independent charity CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.

If you’ve been the victim of crime, support is available, whether you have reported the crime to the police or not. Victim Lincs provide free, confidential advice and guidance, as well as access to specialist emotional support services. Visit or call 01522 947510 Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm.

*The incident date relates to the date of reporting, not the date of the crime.

Reference: Incident 187 of 19 November

A van driver who caused a fatal collision when he drove after just two and a half hours of sleep was jailed for over two years at Lincoln Crown Court.

Liviu-Ciprian Petrea turned directly into the path of an oncoming HGV as he made a right turn resulting in a collision in which his passenger and close friend Costin-Alin Rafaila lost his life.

Petrea had agreed to give Mr Rafaila a lift so that he could meet a relative but later admitted that driving was the last thing he wanted to do due to his lack of sleep.

Robert Underwood, prosecuting, said that the HGV was only three or four metres in front of the van when Petrea took the decision to turn right off the A16 near to Surfleet.

Petrea, who was driving a hire van because his own vehicle had broken down the day before, only got to bed at 3am on the day of the collision.

Mr Underwood said “He had to be up again by 5.30am in order to rendezvous with his boss at a depot in Peterborough.

“In 24 hours he only had two and a half hours sleep. That sleep deprivation was a significant factor in this fatal accident.”

Petrea worked his shift as a delivery driver before agreeing to drive his friend Mr Rafaila, to Holbeach to pick up a relative.

“It was the last thing he wanted to do. He was so tired but felt obliged to help his friend.

“Neither Petrea nor his passenger was wearing a seat belt. He moved into the centre turning lane to turn right. He was in the lane moving slowly. There was no indicating.

“Then for reasons which are almost inexplicable, as the lorry must have been within three or four metres of the van, he turned across into the path of the lorry. That fatally injured Mr Rafaila and seriously injured the defendant.

“There is no explanation as to why he did not see the lorry. It was a huge vehicle.”

Petrea claimed he was blinded by the low sun, but Mr Underwood said that the defendant’s lack of sleep was the main factor in causing the collision.

Petrea himself was seriously injured. He suffered seven broken ribs and spent nine days in hospital.

Liviu-Ciprian Petrea, 31, of no fixed address, admitted causing the death of Costin-Alin Rafaila by driving dangerously on the A16 on November 29, 2019.

He was given a 30 month jail sentence and disqualified from driving for three years.

Petrea, who has spent over a year in custody on remand, will be deported to Germany at the end of his sentence to serve a jail term previously imposed in his absence for an offence of assault.

Judge John Pini QC told him: “You had about two and a half hours sleep. You were to say in interview that giving your friend a lift to visit some relatives was the last thing you wanted to do because you were so tired but you agreed to do it. That decision cost your friend his life.

“There is some evidence that the sun was low in the sky but the principal factor is that you drove when you were deprived of sleep.”

Gareth Gimson, for Petrea, said he had no other convictions either in the UK or in his native Romania.

“He has always been a hard-working man. He has lived a lot of his life in Germany. His mum and dad are in Germany and his three children live there.

“This was not an act of deliberacy. It remains an error of judgement. He will live with this guilt for a long time.”

A BMW driver has been jailed for six months for crashing into and causing the death of a man who got out of his car to tend to an injured deer on a country road.

Geoffrey Saville turned around when he saw the deer and parked his VW van on Midville Road, Stickney, in front of where the animal lay on the road.

Mr Saville parked in the opposite carriageway to where he was going and was facing any oncoming vehicles.

He had his headlights and hazard warning lights on but as he picked up the deer he was hit by a BMW which drove into him.

He was thrown into a roadside ditch. His vehicle was pushed off the road with his wife Jill still in the front passenger seat.

56-year-old Mr Saville, who lived nearby, suffered fatal head and chest injuries.

The BMW driver David Eldridge, 69, of Old Fen Lane South, Scrub Hill, near Coningsby, admitted a charge of causing death by careless driving as a result of the incident on February 13, 2019.

Eldridge was jailed for six months and banned from driving for two years and three months. He was ordered to pass an extended retest before being allowed his licence back.

Recorder Graham Huston, passing sentence, told him: “I have given a great deal of anxious consideration as to whether the sentence might be suspended. I have concluded that there are not sufficient grounds for me to do so.

“You have not seen a lit vehicle with hazard lights flashing in your carriageway until you were so close to it that a collision could not be avoided.

“It was a lit obstruction. The road was dead straight. The weather was clear and there was good visibility.

“The prosecution case is that you became distracted by something inside or outside your vehicle. It is the only explanation as to what happened.

“It may be because there was a young puppy on the back seat. It may be you fell asleep. Something stopped you from seeing a lit obstruction in your carriageway. It was not a momentary distraction.”

Daren Samat, prosecuting, said the incident happened as Mr Saville was driving home with his wife after visiting his sister in Norfolk.

Eldridge, who had two pints of beer earlier in the day and later had a glass of red wine with his tea, was driving at around 30 to 40 mph.

Mr Samat said: “It was an open stretch of road. For over 100 yards the defendant should have seen the Volkswagen. It was dark. The weather is described as fine and clear.

“Mrs Saville remained in the car with her seat belt on.

“Mr Saville walked towards the animal. It must have been alive because he knelt down and stroked it. Mrs Saville noticed the lights of a car coming towards them. R Savile was in the process of lifting the deer.”

Mr Samut said that Mrs Saville shouted a warning to her husband but he may not have heard because the car door and windows were closed.

The approaching BMW then drove straight into the Volkswagen.

Passing motorists and a neighbour who heard the collision went to assist and a 999 call was made.

Mr Saville was found nearby. He died as a result of his injuries.

Eldridge was given a blood test which showed he had 21 mgs of alcohol per 100 mls of blood which was below the legal limit of 80 mgs of alcohol.

When Eldridge was interviewed, he claimed that the lights on the VW only came on as he approached it but the court was told that the headlights and hazard warning lights were on throughout the time.

Jill Saville, in a victim impact statement, said she has been left devastated by the loss of her husband and has since suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.

She said: “On February 13, 2019 my whole world fell apart. I’ve lost my best friend, my soul mate and everything. There will always be a massive hole where Geoff was.”

Dominic Pitter, in mitigation, said Eldridge was unable to explain what happened.

“If he had seen the lights he would have avoided a collision. He must have reacted to something because he started to brake.”

He said that Eldridge was full of remorse for what happened.

“This is somebody who has expressed genuine remorse. For some reason he did not see it.

“He suffered serious injuries himself as a result and he was hospitalised for five days. He now suffers ill-health.”

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