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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Ulverston mansion metal thief ordered to do unpaid work

CCTV helped catch a thief who repeatedly stole metal from a 19th century mansion to buy cannabis.

Matthew John Ford, of Tower Street, Ulverston, pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary in Furness Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

Ford stole lead from Stonecross Manor, in Dalton Gate, Ulverston, on October 9 and October 15 last year after friends told him about the amount of metal at the site.

Along with two friends Ford filled a sports bag with lead at the site, which is being redeveloped by Persimmon Homes, before taking it to Miller’s Scrapyard and receiving £20. The unemployed 20-year-old spent the money on cannabis.

On October 15 last year, a member of the public spotted the trio struggling through the town wearing hooded jackets and reported the incident to police.

Police arrived at the mansion and found a large amount of lead had been removed from the roof of the house and damage had been caused.

Following the police visit, Persimmon Homes installed CCTV at the site in a bid to cut down on the thefts taking place and believing more than £20,000 of damage had been caused.

On September 28 this year intruders were spotted entering the house on the newly-installed security system.

The CCTV then cut out and police were called.

When officers arrived they found Ford had forced a gate using tools found at the site to gain entry.

Miss Jessica Partington, defending, told the court her client was “petrified” of going to prison. She said: “The reason Mr Ford went to the property is it’s known that people go to socialise up there. On the third occasion when he went he has fully admitted, along with friends, that he damaged the gate to gain entry.

“When he saw police arrive he thought he would run away but he thought he would hold his hands up and face the consequences.”

Mrs Jacqui Barnfield, presiding magistrate, ordered Ford to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and gave him a six-month supervision order.

He was ordered to pay £37.50 compensation for the damaged gate and £85 court costs.

Have your say

I think this "Stephen" need to keep his mouth shut! You don't even know the people that did it!! I do!! And guess what all 3 are actually really nice lads and easy to get along with so much in fact I'm marrying one!! Everyone has reasons for doing there actions.

Posted by Chelsie Bolton on 2 August 2013 at 15:36

I am glad they been caught. A fine isn't enough. They should be jailed and the keys thrown away. That is my feelings of the matter.
STEPHEN

Posted by Stephen on 14 January 2013 at 13:52

View all 4 comments on this article

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