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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

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Carlisle man on suspended sentence admits 'stupid' wire theft

A man who stole hundreds of pounds of wire while already on a suspended sentence admitted his “stupid” crime.

Joseph Cooney, of Brookside, Carlisle, carried out the theft, from a business at Beck Farm, Crosby-on-Eden, last month.

At the time Cooney, 36, was already serving a two-year suspended sentence for another theft, which he was convicted of in 2010.

The owner of the firm, a building supplier, had locked up his premises in the early evening of Thursday, September 6.

By chance he passed his business later that night when he saw a vehicle parked nearby.

Feeling suspicious, he wrote down its registration number.

The following day he found wire used for fencing, worth £512, had been stolen.

He reported the registration number to police, and it was traced to Cooney.

Tim Evans, prosecuting, said officers had visited Cooney about the theft and were told: “It’s [the wire] in my van.”

Alison Whalley, defending, told the Carlisle Crown Court: “He accepts the charge. It is a stupid offence and he shouldn’t have committed it.”

She said Cooney was working as a joiner and helping a family member deal with a hard drug addiction.

Ms Whalley added that any custodial sentence would have an impact on Cooney’s four children.

Judge Peter Hughes said: “The offence that you committed is the sort of offence that is so easy to commit and so difficult for builders to protect themselves from.”

He gave Cooney a two-year suspended sentence.

He also gave him a to keep him at home from 8pm to 6am for 16 weeks and ordered him to pay costs of £350.

The judge added that he took the decision not to imprison Cooney reluctantly because the crime was carried out while he was serving a suspended sentence.

He said: “If you do the same sort of thing again, do not expect the same degree of leniency.”

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