Mercy shown to copper thief

A YOUTH from Gainsborough who admitted breaking into a house and stealing copper piping was shown leniency in court.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 31st October 2011, 12:30 pm

The 17-year-old male, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted burgling a house on Clinton Terrace in Gainsborough between Sunday 24th July and Thursday 25th August.

On Thursday 20th October, the Youth Court at Lincoln Magistrates Court heard that he was walking past the unoccupied rented property when he saw that a small kitchen window was open.

After hearing that he could get ‘good money’ for scrap metal, he went into the house through the window and took copper piping which then sold for £15 at a scrap yard.

The court then heard that fingerprints taken by police matched those of the teenager and £700 worth of damage had been caused, but the landlord of the property said that the house had been burgled several times.

Roisin McCaffrey, defending, told the court that the youth moved to the UK four years ago and now lives with his parents, partner and one-year-old daughter, occasionally doing casual work but unable to claim benefits.

McCaffrey said that while the the youth admitted stealing the copper, he denied causing damage to the property.

“He has no alchohol or drug issues,” she said. “His only issue is lack of finances.”

The 17-year-old was given a three month referral order. Magistrates were initially going to fine him £15 compensation and £40 in court costs, but then opted not to fine him anything after hearing that he was out of work, without benefits and had to look after his daughter, through fear of ‘setting him up to fail’.

Magistrates added: “You must keep out of trouble.”

“We are putting our trust in you.”