A SCARBOROUGH man has been jailed for four months after he tried to steal metal from a quarry.
Huw Owen, 27, of Holly Walk, was caught along with two accomplices at the quarry in Settrington, near Malton, after a member of the public heard suspicious behaviour and alerted police.
Owen initially denied an offence of attempted theft, but changed his plea to guilty at a later hearing.
Colette Dixon, prosecuting, said: “A steel-framed building had been taken apart and stored on open land inside the entrance to the quarry.
“At just before 10pm on February 1 a female witness was walking her dog and heard noises of metal being banged and scraped together.
“She returned home and alerted her husband and they attended the front gates in their car. They saw lengths of steel sticking through the bars of the gates.”
The couple alerted the police, who dispatched a helicopter and police dogs to the site.
Owen and his two accomplices were tracked to a field a short distance away from where the metal was stored. Owen’s flatbed truck was also discovered at the scene.
Mrs Dixon added: “The defendant was interviewed by police. He prevaricated and claimed he was in the quarry looking for a dog, but accepted he did not know whose dog it was.
“The police believe that no such dog existed.”
Owen also admitted to breaching his bail on May 19 and May 20 by not abiding by the terms of a curfew.
Scarborough Magistrates’ Court heard that Owen had a string of offences on his record, including matters of dishonesty.
The steel was estimated to have a value in excess of £500.
Franklyn Garvey, mitigating, pointed out that none of the steel had been successfully stolen and no damage had been done to the gate or locks at the quarry.
He added: “There was talk that there was something in a quarry. His friend said ‘let’s move this and arrange to pick it up later’. Foolishly he assisted.
“What my client does is acts first and thinks later. It is patently clear that everything goes wrong as this defendant just never thinks.
“His record is not a pretty picture, but will prison provide the motivation to address his own behaviour? I would say it will merely provide a period of reflection.”
As well as the four-month custodial sentence, Owen was given a 14-day jail sentence in lieu of fines, which will run concurrently.
l Metal thefts increase – Police Perspective on page 20 today.