Men spared prison for bungalow copper raid
TWO young men from Wye were spared jail after attempting to steal copper from a disused building in the village.
Gary Barton, 19, of Dingley Dell, Harville Road, and Gary Reeves, 20, of Abbots Walk, appeared before Ashford magistrates on Monday after being caught trespassing at Pig Bungalow in Armage Road last August.
Both had pleaded guilty to trespassing with intent to steal.
The court heard how the pair had been caught at the scene by a security officer and that they had claimed to be looking for a dog.
But Marie-Louise Corteen, prosecuting, told the court that a quantity of copper had been pulled from the walls and piled up near an unlocked window.
Magistrates also heard that both defendants had been convicted of stealing lead for scrap metal from Wye College last July.
Robert Quinn, defending Barton, said that the teenager had been led astray by his friend and was “easily influenced by people”.
He added that Barton had only gone to the bungalow to stop Reeves “nagging” and that he no longer associates with his former friend.
Barton, who has a pregnant girlfriend, was given an 18-month supervision order and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work.
Donald Worseley, defending Reeves, told the court that his client had suffered a very troubled childhood from which cannabis addiction and depression had stemmed, leading him into “wayward” behaviour.
The court also heard how Reeves was the sole carer for his wheelchair-bound grandmother, that he had a pregnant girlfriend and that he was on a rehabilitation course for his drug problem.
A character witness spoke from the public gallery to say that Reeves had worked for him and was trustworthy and that he just needed “one-on-one” attention to help him work through his problems.
Reeves was given a suspended sentence of 120 days and ordered to undertake 150 hours unpaid work in the community.
Both men were also ordered to pay £200 costs.