Ex-council worker caught trying to sell stolen copper
8:57am Friday 15th June 2012 in News
A FORMER council worker was caught by police as he tried to sell stolen copper worth £1,208 at a Bolton scrap metal dealership.
Graham Fox, aged 46, was employed by Proactive, which was sub-contracted by Manchester City Council’s Highways Department, when the theft happened, on February 21.
Fox, of Sandileigh Drive, Hall i’th’ Wood, had been asked to clear a large amount of scrap metal and burnt copper from Ashton Old Road, in Manchester city centre, after reports it had fallen from a truck.
Bolton Magistrates’ Court heard Fox had cleared the road before transporting the metal to a skip in Newcastle Street.
But later that day after he finished his shift, Fox returned to Newcastle Street in his own van, which he filled with 303 kilos of scrap metal, worth an estimated £1,208.
He then drove to scrap metal dealer E Platt and Sons, in Waterloo Street, Bolton, where he was arrested by police before unloading the metal.
Officers had been at the scrap dealership as part of Operation Alloy, which is a police crackdown on metal thefts.
E Platt and Sons has since signed up to Operation Tornado, which means they must take a photo ID for every scrap metal transaction.
At an earlier hearing, Fox pleaded guilty to theft by finding and at Bolton Magistrates’ Court yesterday was sentenced to a 12-month community order and ordered to complete 60 hours of unpaid work.
He was also orfered to pay £400 costs.
The court heard Fox was sacked from his job after his arrest but had since found alternative employment.
Sentencing Fox, chairman of the bench Ian Hilton said: “I think you would agree it wasn’t the best decision you have ever made in your life.
“You did what you did but maybe if you were there again you would think twice before repeating it.
“My view is it is unlikely to be repeated and that you have learnt your lesson.”