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Police Sting Nails Scrapyard Boss for Buying Stolen BT Copper Cable

Monday, Sep 23rd, 2013 (10:13 am) - Score 2,078

The boss of Albert Haigh and Son Ltd. scrapyard in Huddersfield (West Yorkshire, England), Paul Ellis (aged 42), has been put in the slammer for 14 months after a Police sting operation successfully sold him stolen BT copper telecoms cable on nine separate occasions.

Huddersfield Police had reportedly already visited local scrapyards to advise them about the law and what they should not be buying, such as BT’s copper cable. In order to test this two officers went undercover, posing as BT contractors, in an effort to visit and sell scrap metal, some legal and some illegal.

The officers reportedly gained Ellis’s trust over a period of two months by initially weighing in genuine scrap metal before eventually offering to sell BT’s copper cable to the yard, as opposed to taking it to a designated site in Northallerton. Ellis agreed and the officers ended up weighing in BT’s stolen cable on nine occasions (1.2 metric tonnes) and were paid £1,109 (this included some legal metal).

Judge Batty said (The Huddersfield Daily):

People like you who buy these cables subject to the theft are providing a market – without you, and people like you, there would not be these thefts.”

Ellis was told to pay £1,000 towards prosecution costs and jailed for 14 months. It might only be a drop in the ocean but at least the new Scrap Metal Dealers Act is beginning to have some impact.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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