Three sentenced for metal theft
Dated: 25 Jul 2009
Three men responsible for stealing over £100,000 worth of copper cable have been sentenced.
Gordon Sewell, Jason Timothy Bain and Thomas Gregory Bain all appeared at Newcastle Crown Court and were jailed for a total of five years.
Gordon Sewell, 42, of Penrith Gardens, Gateshead was sentenced to two-and-a-half years for theft.
Jason Timothy Bain, 39, of Winlaton, Gateshead was given two-and-a-half years for theft
Thomas Gregory Bain, 45, of Felling, Gateshead was given a 36-week suspended sentence and ordered to do 300 hours community service for handling stolen goods.
The arrests and convictions are as a result of investigations carried out by police into reported thefts of cable over the 18 months.
Back on April 3, 2008, police received information that copper wire with a value of £5,000 was stolen from the Scotswood road area.
The report stated that three men in a white Transit van matching the descriptions of Sewell, Bain and Bain had parked up next to a man hole cover, opened it up and using a generator removed £5,000 worth of cable before stowing it in the back of the van and making off.
The three men were again spotted on April 27 looking in man hole covers in the same area and police were called. Police stopped Sewell, Bain and Bain who were in the area at the time in a white Transit van and checked them but they were not arrested.
On June 1 police found that a stretch of cable 4.8 miles in length had been stolen from the Stobhill area of Morpeth. The cable ran from Stobhill to The Ridge Farm pub in Bedlington and the value of the cable stolen was approximately £31,000 but the actual cost for BT to replace it was £98,000. Two men were seen on this occasion in a white Transit van.
Then on August 10, 2008 police spotted a white Transit van on the south bound slip road at Stannington station near to an opened manhole cover. Officers found Sewell inside the manhole with both Bain brothers looking on. Although nothing was taken on this occasion the cable was cut and prepped ready to be removed from the ground and all three were arrested.
Following the arrests officers made enquiries at a scrap yard in Gateshead where police believe that Sewell, Bain and Bain had been selling the wire. They discovered that the three had been to the yard 45 times in the past and that the three had made £34,110 for selling the copper wire as scrap.
Morpeth Neighbourhood Inspector Jackie Coleman said: "These men have been convicted following a lengthy investigation into high value thefts in which they intended to make huge sums of money.
"The disruption they caused in pursuit of these crimes is very serious indeed. and we will continue to tackle such offenders with the help of our partners."
Photograph shows (l-r) Jason Bain and Gordon Sewell