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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Scrap metal thief caught by witness in Barrow

A MAN scored an own goal when he stole steel posts and drain covers belonging to a Barrow football club.

Jason Corless got himself in deeper trouble by later claiming to police a truck used to carry away the haul from Barrow Wanderers FC had itself been stolen.

Corless, 32, of Langdale Place, Lancaster, appeared at Preston Crown Court yesterday for sentencing. He pleaded guilty to theft and perverting the course of justice.

Mr Jon Close, prosecuting, said a man driving near Barrow Wanderers FC on the morning of June 5 noticed a tipper truck going in the opposite direction.

The vehicle was owned by a friend of Corless, but he was insured for it.

A number of unsecured steel beams were spotted on the back of the truck. This caused suspicion, so the man turned his vehicle round and followed it onto Holyoake Avenue.

The truck parked there and three people got out. The 20 posts, that had been intended for security use, had previously been stacked at the back of the club house, out of sight.

The posts were worth £1,000.

The court heard that same day, Corless phoned police to report the vehicle and its keys stolen. He also rang later to enquire about its recovery.

Mr Close said the defendant went on to repeat the claim that the vehicle had been stolen. However, checks on his mobile phone showed when he rang the police the first time, he was still in the Barrow area where the theft occurred.

Mr Paul Humphries, defending, said it had been fourteen years since Corless last committed any dishonesty, prior to the latest case. He had an official licence to collect scrap.

“He accepts completely that he should not have taken the posts. He knew it was wrong. They didn’t get away with them because they abandoned the vehicle. He was trying to make ends meet at the time.”

Corless was ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and pay £200 costs and a £60 statutory surcharge.

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