Student jailed for taking £100,000 boat without his mother's permission

A 22-year-old has been jailed after stealing his family’s yacht and being handed in by his mother.

Oliver Sloley waited until his mum went away for the weekend and stole the yacht from its moorings at Stronguet near Falmouth, Cornwall, despite the yacht’s faulty engine.

He jumped onboard with a friend, both of whom had no experience of sailing, and headed off without lifejackets, reports the Guardian.

The pair managed to sail several miles along the coast, even navigating the Lizard peninsula, before they got into difficulty.

They called for help, but couldn’t read their GPS to give their position. The pair were only rescued after firing a flare and being spotted by a lifeboat after a three-hour search.

The two young men were towed back and were met by Sloley’s mother, who reported the theft to the police.

Today Sloley was jailed for nine months after pleading guilty to the theft and a string of other charges including receiving stolen goods, stealing cheques from his mother and leaving four pubs in Cornwall without paying.

His mother said she knew she had to go to the police, despite feeling horrible about reporting her son. She said it wasn’t the theft of her boat that made her angry, “it was the fact the lifeboat crew got involved and spent three hours searching for them when they should be saving people’s lives who have got in difficulty through no fault of their own”.

“Taking him to court was very difficult,” she said. “It was horrible, but I am of the mind that once my mind is made up then that’s it.”

The yacht had been in the family for several years, but she was in such a state of disrepair that his mother has since sold it.

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