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Penrith scrap metal thieves taken to task by judge

Carlisle Crown Court

TWO opportunist thieves who snatched a bag of scrap metal from the garden of a Penrith home have been sentenced by a judge and given a dressing down.

Ryan Dean Bell and Johnathon Martin, both aged 25, pinched a dumpy bag from outside a property on Graham Street in the town which was under renovation on the morning of November 26 last year.

Carlisle Crown Court heard the men were stopped in a Transit van and spoken to by police minutes after the crime – but before their offence was discovered – and warned not to go “scrapping”. When it emerged the £100 bag and contents had been stolen they were halted again, around lunchtime, and found to be responsible.

Bell, of Leyburn Grove, Houghton le Spring, near Sunderland, and Martin, of Bevin Square, South Hetton, near Durham, admitted theft and were ordered to complete night-time curfews of two months and three months, respectively.

“Cumbrians don’t want to see people from the North East driving out here on the lookout for whatever they may be able to get their hands on,” Judge Nicholas Barker told the pair as he passed sentence.

“It is not a short journey from Hetton to Penrith. It is a journey of some distance that costs money, it costs fuel, it costs wear and tear on the van, and I have no doubt whatever the purpose of your journey that day you were determined to go back with something.”

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