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Elland rail metal thief faces prison sentence

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An Elland man has been told to prepare himself for a prison sentence after a jury found him guilty of stealing metal fencing belonging to Network Rail.

Jason Stott, 41, was quizzed about his activities by a police officer after he found him on an railway embankment in the Lowfields Way area last March.

Stott, of Briggate, denied he was stealing the metal fencing and handed over a piece of paper with a plan on it which he claimed were his instructions to move the fencing back about one-and-a-half metres.

During Stott’s trial at Bradford Crown Court prosecutor Adam Birkby said the fencing had been installed by Network Rail to stop people climbing onto the busy commuter line and inquiries with them revealed that no work was due to be done on the fencing.

In Stott’s van police found a mobile phone and Mr Birkby alleged that incriminating texts suggested that Stott had been arranging to sell the fencing before he was caught stealing it.

In a car port at his home police also found similar green fencing panels.

Mr Birkby alleged that Stott had been involved in a planned theft of valuable fencing and had been caught red-handed.

During his police interview Stott insisted he had been contacted by a man who instructed him to move the fencing.

Stott claimed he had his own fencing business and the man had posted him hand-written details about the job.

He also denied that the phone found in the van belonged to him, but after a couple of hours of deliberation the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict on the theft charge.

Following their verdict Judge John Potter revealed that Stott was already awaiting sentence for a another unrelated matter and he said he would deal with both offences after a pre-sentence report had been prepared on the defendant.

The judge extended Stott’s bail until February 14, but he said the pre-sentence report should consider all options.

He told Stott that he hadn’t made up his mind but he should prepare himself for a custodial sentence next month.

 
 
 

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