A LORRY driver involved in a shipping container theft which saw £769,000 worth of Playstation accessories taken has been jailed for eight years.

Christopher Champion of Upland Road, St Helens, was part of a gang involved in the disappearance of nearly 3,000 Playstation 3 Slim consoles, which were en-route to Felixstowe Docks.

Back in the late summer of 2016, the consoles had yet to be officially released when lorry driver Champion was asked to take a consignment of the Playstations from Wellingborough to the port.

The consoles were due to be shipped out to Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia, a month before Sony planned to unveil the new version of the console the following September.

Police say the container was intercepted though and delivered instead to an address in Essex, where it was unloaded.

But Champion was caught out when he returned to the docks and his vehicle was found to be considerable underweight, it was said.

Champion, 41, of Upland Road, St Helens, was jailed for eight years after being convicted of theft and handling stolen goods.

His accomplices Keith Williams, 45, of Napier Drive, Horwich, and Darren Brown, 38, of Orchard Lane, Leigh, were found guilty of handling stolen goods.

Williams was given two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a 26-week curfew, a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement order and told to perform 180 hours of community service.

Brown was given the same suspended sentence and curfew requirements, as well as 35 days of rehabilitation activities and 240 hours community service.

Another gang member, Robert Ratcliff, 48, from Staines-upon-Thames, was jailed for three years over the theft.

Another two men, from Chorley and Wigan, were cleared after a jury trial. A seventh man was judged not fit to stand trial.

Det Inspector John Allison, of Suffolk Police's cyber, intelligence and serious organised crime directorate, said: "This was a lengthy and complex investigation supported through a close working relationship with Sony Interactive Entertainment.

"The hard work and tenacity shown by all of those involved is indicative of our commitment to bringing those involved in organised crime to justice."