A NEWPORT father and son who stole more than £8,000 worth of railway cable have been handed prison sentences.

James Matthew Fisher, 30 and Alan Fisher, 64, were caught on the M4 by Gwent Police on their way home after raiding a Network Rail depot in Oxford.

James Matthew Fisher, of Woodside, Duffryn, was jailed for three months at Newport Magistrates’ Court.

Alan Fisher, also of Woodside, Duffryn, was jailed for 16 weeks but that sentence was suspended for 12 months.

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He was made the subject of an electronically monitored curfew for three months between 8pm and 7am.

South Wales Argus:

The reels of copper cable stolen by the pair. Picture: British Transport Police

Both defendants pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.

Outside the court, a British Transport Police investigation spokeswoman said: “On February 28, 2020, two Gwent traffic police officers were alerted to a suspicious vehicle travelling westbound along the M4 while on patrol.

“They stopped the vehicle, which was owned by James Fisher, with his father, Alan Fisher, as a passenger.

“They were both wearing high visibility jackets and upon searching the vehicle, officers discovered several reels of copper cable.

“The pair were arrested on suspicion of theft at the scene.

“Network Rail were later able to identify the cable as railway cable which had been stolen from a depot in Oxford.

After the case, British Transport Police investigating officer Lauren Anderson said: “This was a determined theft which could’ve cost the railway over £8,000 in loss.

“These sentences demonstrate just how seriously the courts take such incidents of theft, and we hope this will give the individuals involved time to reflect on their actions and stop them from committing similar offences in the future.

“We are committed to tackling all forms of theft and work closely with Network Rail and other industry partners to make the railway a difficult place for these criminals to operate.”

If you spot any suspicious activity on the railway, please report it to BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40.