Buxton cable thief is jailed for 12 weeks

High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.

High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.

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A man who stole cable from a Buxton business has been jailed.

Police on duty at 12.15am on September 4 saw a white van parked on Bridge Street with the back doors slightly open, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard. Cabling and wires were hanging out of the back of the van, prosecutor John Cooper said.

They followed the van before stopping it and went to speak to driver Andrew Larry Taylor, who said he had been visiting his girlfriend in the area and saw the cabling.

Checks revealed it had been taken from the former Buxton Mineral Water site on Station Road and some of the cabling, valued at £800, had been dug up in order to be removed, Mr Cooper added.

In interview, Taylor answered no comment to all questions.

The 33-year-old, of Crown Street, Denton, admitted theft at an earlier hearing. He also pleaded guilty to taking a motor vehicle without consent and using a vehicle without insurance after taking his brother’s van.

Martin Christie, defending, said: “He picked up the cabling and put it in his van. The value is disputed.

“He has been a drug taker for many years and has been taking heroin.

“He suffers deep vein thrombosis and also has now got Hepatitis C because of his drug use.

“Of his own volition he has sought help and over the last 18 months has been clean of heroin.

“He is a man with previous convictions, many of which are drug-related.”

Taylor was on bail at the time of the offence, the court heard.

Chairman of the Bench Michael Hilton said: “One thing that profoundly affects the seriousness of this crime is we know you had an alias at the scrap dealers.

“That demonstrates a professionalism. You have taken steps to get round the laws intended to limit cable theft.

“This bench is disturbed by the fact you were on bail at the time of this offence. That demonstrates a blatant disregard for the law and the powers of this court.

“We note what Mr Christie has said on your behalf about you taking steps to deal with your drugs problem.

“The professionalism shown aggravates this and we find it so serious that custody is the only way to deal with it.”

Taylor was jailed for 12 weeks for the cable theft, and four weeks for the taking without consent offence, to run concurrently. Magistrates made no separate penalty on the insurance offence but he was given eight penalty points. He must also pay an £80 surcharge.