Stupid stolen metal handler avoids prison

Scales of Justice
Scales of Justice

A JUDGE has shown mercy on a ‘stupid’ 21-year-old deciding not to jail him for his part in a stolen metal gang.

But Samuel Temperton, was warned that he would be locked up if he did not mend his ways after he admitted his part in the operation which saw him cash in stolen lead flashing at scrapyards on four occasions.

Doncaster Crown Court heard Temperton, of Chatsworth Crescent, Scawthorpe, had received payments of £133.90, £158.40, £63 then £144 for the stolen lead, but had only received a cut of just over £20 each time he made the transaction.

He was caught by police after a routine patrol saw a van going into a scrapyard and found the stolen metal.

The court heard Temperton, who refused to name his fellow gang members, had made no efforts to hide his identity while carrying out the transactions, despite knowing the metal was stolen.

He used his provisional driving licence complete with his full address as a source of identification to cash in on the metal and was caught on CCTV during each transaction.

Temperton admitted handling stolen goods.

In mitigation, Cedric Hennis, told the court Temperton was trying to turn his life around and had earned a certificate in forklift driving, since he was arrested on March 9.

In handing out a 12-month community order, Recorder James Hill QC, said he felt the defendant was “still young enough to be given credit for youth and stupidity.”

He added: “This is all too frequent and an absolute nightmare for the people who have had lead taken.

“If there weren’t handlers like you there wouldn’t be thieves.

“Sooner of later someone is going to lock you up.”

Temperton spoke only to confirm his name during the brief sentencing hearing.

He was also ordered to be under supervision for 12 months, carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and complete a Thinking Skills Programme.