Metal thieves in West Hill given ‘wake-up call’

PUBLISHED: 11:00 30 March 2012


Two men who pleaded guilty to stealing metal from West Hill were handed conditional discharges by magistrates and told it should be a ‘wake-up call’.

Walter Lee and Patrick Mahon, both 21, admitted to taking £100 worth of scrap from a utilities firm replacing a water main in the village last month.

The men, who are gypsies and live at Princes Paddock in Farringdon, were given two-year conditional discharges by magistrates sitting in Exeter on Tuesday.

A 14-year-old boy was also charged with the theft, but pleaded not guilty and his case was dismissed.

The court heard how a resident phoned the police on Thursday, February 9, after seeing men load pieces of metal from behind a road barrier into a white Ford Transit van.

Miss Baker, prosecuting, said officers stopped the defendants’ vehicle in Exeter around midday, and found the old water main in the back.

A representative from South West Water confirmed it had been removed by their contractor, Dare Utilities, in West Hill.

Initially the men said they had bought the metal from a workman while on their way to Ottery St Mary, but later admitted to stealing the scrap, which they intended to sell to a dealer in Exeter.

Magistrates said they did not ‘take the matter lightly’, and hoped their arrest and conviction would be a ‘wake-up call’ to the two defendants, who were also each ordered to pay £30 costs.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald