Men spared prison for bun­ga­low cop­per raid

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - COUNTRYFILE -

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.

Pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions

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.

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