Newport man jailed for metal theft
2:26pm Friday 22nd March 2013 in News
A NEWPORT man was given a six-month sentence after admitting stealing specialist signalling equipment, belonging to Network Rail and worth £12,000.
Paul Rudge, 39, of Maesglas Crescent, already had 24 previous convictions for theft and had appeared in court 35 times over the last 27 years for 69 offences.
At Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court yesterday, District Judge Richard Williams handed him the sentence, saying he hoped it would act as a deterrent to others who might consider metal thefts fromthe railways.
Prosecutor Lisa James told the court that Rudge was spotted at the National Rail depot at Crindau, Newport, at 10.45pm on December 7, running on the path around the perimeter fence.
She said two lengths of cable totalling 14 metres had been cut off a reel, and a hacksaw, snapped hacksawblade, rucksack, Stanley knife and rubber gloves were left nearby.
Police dogs were sent after Rudge, and footprints were found in the mud which matched the trainers he was wearing.
Defence solicitor Paul Lewis said Rudge admitted the offence at the first opportunity.
He had recently been released from hospital following an operation and took off when the affected area of his body became too painful.
In a statement, a Network Rail spokesman said the cable was specially designed to be used in signaling equipment and cost £12,000.
While it was all recovered, two lengths were cut off, meaning that to be used, joints would need to be placed in the these. If this is done, the loss to Network Rail will be £6,000.
However, for such specialist equipment, this is not desirable and the most likely outcome is that they will be scrapped.
Rudge must serve half of the six-month sentence.