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Thieves who stole metal from Gloucestershire pylons ordered to pay back just £1 each of their ill-gotten gains

By EchoLauraC  |  Posted: August 20, 2014


Comments (4)

A GANG of thieves who stole £150,000 of metal from Gloucestershire pylons were ordered to pay back just £1 each.

The seven men from South Wales were said to have gained £25,000 from the scrap metal they stole, but none had any assets.

Gloucester Crown Court heard they would each pay a nominal fee of £1 under the Proceeds of Crime Act as opposed to the £3,571.42 they were said to have each gained from their crime.

They were given 28 days to pay back the money, but more could be gained in the future, if any of the gang come into windfalls.

The gang, who were together jailed for 14 years in December, targeted 7km of cabling belonging to Western Power Distribution in Fromebridge near Whitminster in September 2010.

The thieves left the remaining overhead line hanging dangerously when they took 42 tonnes of cooper cabling from six towers.

Some 10,000 homes could have been affected by the stolen lines when the theft took place between September 16 and 17, 2010 had a back-up line not been in place.

During the hearing in December prosecutor Susan Cavender said the theft was one of 12 that took place between Stone and Lydney from August 2010 and January 2011.

But five of the men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal on the basis they just took part in one of the thefts.

Liam Murphy, 24, of Penarth, South Glamorgan who also admitted to possession of an offensive weapon, was jailed for 21 months; as was Paul Condick, 30, of Llandow Road in Cardiff and Nathan James, 35, of Heol Trelai, Ely, Cardiff.

Martyn Richards, 27, of Heol Poyston, Ely, Cardiff, who refused to come to the proceeds of crime hearing on Wednesday, and Stephen Phillips, 52, of Addicott Close in Cardiff, were given 30 months prison.

Scrap metal dealing brothers Vijay Chohan, 24, and Umur Chohan, 26, both of Grand Avenue in Cardiff both denied the offence, but were found guilty at trial and jailed for 24 months.

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  • Justica  |  August 21 2014, 12:37PM

    Is there a course you can go on to study different metals ? Like the law, it sounds like a very lucrative business to be in.

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  • Douglasknows  |  August 21 2014, 11:13AM

    Not sure who coined the phrase "the law is an ass" but that must the most understated saying since the language was first invented.

  • zinboya  |  August 20 2014, 5:56PM

    Should have been 14,yrs each and made to work for their keep, plus repaying for what they stole, and its a pity they did not end up being a load of bright sparks.

  • honslknjklyt  |  August 20 2014, 3:09PM

    And to think a friend of mine has just received a debt letter for £3,000 plus well out of the blue for allegedly underpaid tax credits! He knows nothing about it, nothing from HMRC, he works very hard and yet is told he MUST pay it back but he knows nothing about this.......... Then you get scumbags like this, who yes have lost their "freedom" for a short while while howard trust for penal reform campaign for their cotton socks to be washed for them, and only have to pay back £1.00 each for something they knew they took. The hypocrisy of this country is sickening.