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BT worker who stole cable avoids jail term
A BT manager who stole more than £8,000 worth of cable from the company has been given community service.
Edward Thomas, 60, admitted three counts of theft by an employee and three counts of transferring criminal property.
The former operations manager also asked for 246 similar offences to be taken into consideration.
In total, Thomas, of Bagley Close, in Kennington, admitted stealing cables containing copper, worth £8,131.50 and weighing just under 5.5 tonnes, between May 2010 and April 2012.
He was given 300 hours of community service and told to repay the money within seven days at Oxford Magistrates’ Court yesterday. Ann Sawyer-Brandish, prosecuting, said scrap cable was generated by BT technicians during work on the company’s exchanges around the county.
This scrap cable was then bagged up and left at the unmanned exchanges to be picked up for disposal at a later date, she said.
She said: “Effectively, this defendant has taken a number of bags over a period of time and disposed of them at TR Rogers & Sons.”
Mrs Sawyer-Brandish said Thomas was caught during a police investigation into scrap metal theft.
Officers searched scrap metal dealer TR Rogers & Sons, in Nuneham Courtenay, on May 29 last year and discovered a large number of receipts marked as “controlled waste transfer purchase notes”.
The receipts were then linked to a BT company car and Thomas’s own vehicle, Mrs Sawyer-Brandish said.
Praveen Saigal, defending, said Thomas, who joined BT at 16, had two teenage children at college and university. He said: “As a family unit they are all devastated.”
Mr Saigal added “[Thomas] went into the police station without a solicitor and made the fullest admission at the earliest opportunity. He is genuinely remorseful.”
He said Thomas had resigned and offered to pay the full £8,131.50 back within seven days, and had a previously good character.
Chairman of the magistrates Richard Freeth said: “We have considered the full remorse that you have offered, which was full and frank, at the first opportunity. Without doubt, you would have been going to custody had you not done that.
“Also, in this instance the cable was scrap – had it not been it would have been custody – and you were willing to offer full compensation.”