A ‘SKIP-RATCHER’ who scaled the fence of a household waste centre in Carlisle to steal discarded electrical items has been prosecuted for theft.

The city’s Rickergate Magistrates’ Court heard that Kelvin Terrence Dixon, 33, was caught red-handed with a pair of dumped speakers after an alert security guard spotted him scaling the fence to get into the Bousteads Grassing Household Waste and Recycling Centre.

Police officers who were called in searched the centre and quickly found the defendant, who lives at Boundary Road, Currock, Carlisle. Dixon admitted a single offence of theft.

Peter Bardsley, prosecuting, outlined how the alarm was raised by the security guard at around 10pm on Sunday. “Police attended and a search was conducted,” said the prosecutor.

“The defendant was found standing next to two old music speakers. He was asked what he was doing and told the officers that he was looking for ‘treasure’. He said he was looking for old electrical things so he could make some money. He said that if he found anything he would make a bob or two.

“He confirmed: ‘Yes, I was going to take it and sell it.’”

John Smith, for Dixon, said of the defendant: “To use a Carlisle phrase, he was s skip-ratcher. I assume that the two music speakers were recovered and put back in the skip. That’s what we’re talking about.

“It was very, very low down on the scale of seriousness.”

Noting that the defendant had been offence-free for the last two years, Mr Smith added that magistrates should impose the lowest level of sentence available to the court - a conditional order of discharge.

After considering the case, magistrates fined Dixon £40, and ordered that he pay £85 costs, and a £30 victim surcharge. Thus the speakers he hoped would be free cost him £155.