Man admits handling stolen goods over copper wire haul found in King's Lynn
A 29-year-old man found in West Lynn with stolen BT copper cabling with a £5,000 scrap value is facing jail.
Police uncovered the mass haul in the back of a Mitsubishi Shogun which Robert Knight had been driving.
Officers were tipped off due to the state of the vehicle while it was in McDonald’s car park in Clenchwarton Road. One of the tyres had shredded off and the wheel rim was worn from contact with the road.
Knight had moved to the nearby Premier Inn car park by the time police arrived just after 6am on November 12, town magistrates heard on Monday.
Prosecutor Josephine Jones said: “The defendant said he had had a blowout and had been off-roading. He had pulled into the car park waiting for someone to come and fix it.”
Knight told police that the copper wiring belonged to his dad but was arrested on suspicion of theft.
Later, a small bag of cannabis was found where he had been sitting in the police vehicle.
Miss Jones said, in interview, Knight gave a “number of different versions” about how he had come by the copper cabling. He gave the name of a passenger as Kieran Johnson but was unable to provide an address or contact number.
His final story was that Mr Johnson had asked him to help pick up something from a friend in Premier Inn car park. He claimed he didn’t know the copper was stolen and that his friend had walked off before the police’s arrival.
Miss Jones added: “He said ‘I feel upset and let down’, referring to his friend.”
She said although the scrap value of the copper cabling – thought to have been stolen from alongside the A17 in Lincolnshire – was around £5,000, the cost for BT of replacing it with new material and the labour would be much higher.
She outlined the danger to the public of exposed manholes caused by thefts of this type and the “massive inconvenience” to communities affected by the loss of services such as communications and card transactions.
Knight, who told the court he is moving home from Great Yeldham in Essex to Goldings Close, Haverhill this week, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods and possession of cannabis. He denied a charge of having no insurance.
Magistrates decided that their sentencing powers were insufficient and sent the case to Norwich Crown Court on a date to be fixed.