A Borough Green man accused of jointly taking hundreds of litres of fuel from service stations around Sevenoaks has indicated he will plead not guilty.
Aaron Smith, of Fairfield Road, was charged along with his brother Steven Smith with five counts of making off without making payment during a string of incidents in August and September this year.
The pair also faced an additional charge of fraudulently altering a registration mark, having allegedly changed the number plate of the vehicle they were using for some of the incidents.
Aaron Smith, 26, faced a further charge of using threatening or abusive language during one of the incidents at a Shell service station in Aylesford.
The Borough Green man appeared at Sevenoaks Magistrates Court yesterday (November 21), but his 24-year-old brother, who lives in Surrey, did not attend court and the case had to be adjourned.
Speaking from the dock in an all-grey tracksuit, Mr Smith indicated he would be pleading not-guilty to the charges, and claimed they had only received the paperwork about the court hearing the previous Friday, suggesting this was why his brother was absent.
The two are first accused of targeting Sainsbury’s petrol station in Sevenoaks on August 18, where they are said to have made off with nearly £70 of unleaded petrol without paying.
This incident was followed by a further accusation of stealing just over £118 worth of diesel from a Shell garage in Wrotham three days later, and another £119.48 of diesel from Waitrose in Sevenoaks on the same day.
On August 25 the pair allegedly took another 100 litres of diesel, adding up to just under £120 from a garage in Sevenoaks, and later nearly £60 of unleaded petrol from a Shell garage in Aylesford on September 1, where Aaron was accused of verbally abusing a woman.
At court on Tuesday, Smith was warned that if the case went to trial it could potentially be referred to a crown court judge and jury.
Smith was released on unconditional bail pending a hearing next Tuesday, November 28, to allow for his jointly accused brother to attend.