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'Dyslexia to blame for wrong numbers'


A MAN accused of handling £700,000-worth of stolen JCBs that ended up in Israel blamed his dyslexia for the wrong chassis and engine numbers appearing on shipping documents.

Michael Komaroni, of Luton Road, Chalton, Bedfordshire, told St Albans Crown Court he was paid commission by Israeli Haim Shimoni for storing JCBs at his yard and loading them on to containers.

Komaroni, who trades as Franks of Luton, said he never bought any of the diggers and pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to handle stolen plant between February 1997 and September 1998.

The prosecution alleges that 30 items of plant stolen from all over Britain passed through his hands.

Komaroni told the court his main line of business was buying and selling machines and it was not unusual for him to deal with people from abroad.

The jury was told that Komaroni was dyslexic. The prosecution alleges that chassis and engine numbers on shipping documents were deliberately distorted to throw Customs & Excise officers off the track. But Komaroni told the court he did not know he had given the wrong numbers.

The case continues.