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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

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Barrow site trespassers ‘were walking dogs’ court

TWO Barrow men found trespassing have been fined.

Philip Melton, 51, of School Street, and Mark Alan Wells, 37, of Thwaite Street, appeared at Furness Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The pair pleaded guilty to vagrancy after they were found trespassing at the Cumbria Waste Management site on October 19 last year.

Lisa Hine, prosecuting, said police officers first became aware something was occurring at the site when they witnessed a dog running around within the enclosed area.

They then saw Melton yelling at a dog in an attempt to shut it up, while he was rummaging through a collection of microwaves.

The officers believed Melton intended to steal a microwave.

Melton, after being confronted by police, insisted he and Wells were just walking their dogs, and that what they were doing was not burglary.

Karen Templeton, defending Wells, said the dogs had managed to get under the fence, forcing Wells and Melton to follow. She said the pair only decided to have a look around when they were on the site.

Miss Templeton said Wells had lost his job after his employer found out about the arrest, and that he had vowed to never walk his dog in that area again.

Andrew Gibson, representing Melton, said for the most part Melton’s story was much the same as that of Wells.

Mr Gibson said the pair were out to walk their dogs, and that their crime was purely opportunistic and without any prior intent.

Wells and Melton were each ordered to pay £120 in fines, a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Chairwoman of the bench, Mrs Catherine Alexander, said the magistrates had taken into account that both Wells and Melton had pleaded guilty at their first opportunity.

Throughout the course of the sentencing, the court usher had to repeatedly tell Melton to be quiet, as he chuckled to himself and made comments under his breath.

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