Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cable thieves jailed

No apology for returning to a subject on which I feeel very strongly as another gang of metal thieves have been jailed.

It is excellent news that some progress is being made in catching the people behind this scourge of modern society and that when they do get caught, the courts are increasingly willing to put them behind bars.

Ross Gamble, 33, Daniel Giddings, 24, and Kyle Norton, 22, all from Rochester, Kent, and Kieron Butt, 24, of Chelmsford, Essex, all received prison sentences of up to 21 months when they appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court in London charged with the theft of BT cable.

The court heard the alarm was raised after a live BT cable had been cut in Boundary Road, St Johns Wood, north-west London, on 11 July last year.

 Four men, posing as a legitimate work crew, were seen pumping out water from manholes a short distance away in Avenue Road and St Johns Wood Terrace.

Lengths of cable were seen being passed from the manholes into one of the vehicles. Keeping the vehicles under observation, it was determined that the cable was being taken to a remote farm in Essex. When the vans returned to Avenue Road to collect more cable, the police were called and the four men were arrested. All of the stolen BT cable was recovered.

 
Giddings was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment for the theft of the BT cable and was ordered to serve a further month for being in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed for an earlier theft.

Butt was also sentenced to 20 months imprisonment, Norton to 18 months and Gamble to 16 months.

Judge West told the gang members: “You were all involved in an organised theft of BT cable and a clear danger to the public.”

The judge also said that the gang had been oblivious to the potential for disruption and the fact that the cable was capable of carrying live lines to a nearby hospital.

The judge said that he had taken account in imposing sentences that two members of the gang had made early guilty pleas and, in one case, an admission of guilt during a police interview following arrest.

Suspicious activity related to cable theft or any other kind of metal theft can be reported by ringing Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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