Lead theft led to community order

Scarborough Magistrates Court

Scarborough Magistrates Court

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A SCARBOROUGH man has been ordered to carry out unpaid work after stealing £1,000 worth of lead.

Dean Dutton, 28, of Pavilion Terrace, admitted the charge during a hearing at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court.

The theft took place on February 29 at another flat in the same block in Pavilion Terrace.

The court heard how the top-floor flat was being renovated ready for a new tenant to move in.

The owner had visited the flat and given the keys to the new tenant, but when he returned the following morning, he found that the flat had been entered and lead was missing from inside the property and from the roof.

Sam Rogers, prosecuting, said: “Officers went to the property next door. They gained entry to the flat and found a large quantity of lead in plastic bags and boxes.”

The defendant was arrested and questioned by police. The owner of the lead confirmed that the haul was very similar to that which had been removed from his premises.

Miss Rogers continued: “Initially Mr Dutton denied that the lead was from next door. He said it was legitimately his due to his work as a plumber.

“However, during a second interview he admitted it. He said he had taken the lead from the flat and the roof and took sole responsibility.”

The building manager working on the renovation project valued the lead at £1,000, adding that even though it had been recovered, it could not be reused as it had been cut up.

New lead had to be purchased and the damaged materials were sold as scrap.

Miss Rogers did not have information on how much the owner had received in payment for the scrap, or how much they had spent on new materials.

She said this made is difficult to make a claim for compensation.

However, she asked that the defendant should be ordered to pay £85 court costs.

Shaun Greenan, mitigating, said his client had expressed “remorse and regret” in the second police interview and that he had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

He also told magistrates that his client was in poor health and there had been questions asked over whether he could have moved all the lead himself.

Mr Greenan added: “He very much regrets getting involved in this incident from start to finish.

“He certainly wishes he could put the clock back. He has a heart condition and has suffered further problems with his health due to the stress of these proceedings.”