Men jailed for 'incredibly dangerous' theft of cable from railway line

November 11 2019
Men jailed for 'incredibly dangerous' theft of cable from railway line

THIEVES who stole cable worth more than £12,000 from a railway line in South Gloucestershire have been jailed.

Twins Michael and Christopher Nugent, and Martin Ward, were caught after British Transport Police were alerted to their presence by a motion-sensing camera placed by the line at Charfield.

Network Rail had installed the camera after thefts and damage at the site on August 28, 2017.

Just two days later the camera detected trespassers and police caught the 23-year-old twins at the scene.

A vehicle registered to Ward, 24, was found nearby and all three men were arrested on suspicion of theft.

Mobile phone records placed them at the location at the estimated time of the earlier incident and forensics linked the vehicle owned by Ward, used to transport the stolen cable, to the Nugent brothers.

All three pleaded guilty to theft when they appeared at Bristol Crown Court on November 1.

Michael Nugent (above, centre), of Atwood Drive, Lawrence Weston, was sentenced to 18 months in prison while his brother Christopher (above, left), of Clapton Walk, Sea Mills, was jailed for 16 months and ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

Ward (above, right), of Long Cross, Lawrence Weston, was jailed for a year and ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

After the case Detective Constable Dan Murdoch of British Transport Police said: “This was a determined theft, which cost the railway an estimated £12,700 in loss, delays and damages and also had the potential to endanger the lives of workers and passengers.

These sentences demonstrate just how seriously the courts take such incidents of theft, and we hope this will give the individuals involved time to reflect on their actions and stop them from committing similar offences in the future.

We are committed to tackling all forms of theft and work closely with Network Rail and other industry partners to make the railway a difficult place for these criminals to operate.

Network Rail Western route director Mike Gallop said: “Cable theft results in significant delays and cancellations across the network and these penalties show just how seriously the rail industry and the British Transport Police take this crime.

Any attempt to steal cable from the railway is not only a criminal offence but is also incredibly dangerous. Anyone trespassing on the railway risks serious injury – or worse.

We want everyone home safe every day and we continually look for ways to protect the network from thieves, working with British Transport Police to prosecute anyone caught carrying out metal thefts.”