Two scrap metal merchants have been found guilty of knowingly buying “stolen” copper cabling from undercover police in Oxfordshire.
The pair, Martin Pace and Simon Rogers were convicted at an eight-week trial at Oxford Crown Court. Both were found guilty on one charge of attempting to disguise, conceal or convert criminal property.
The two men worked at T R Rogers & Sons in Nuneham Courtenay, Oxfordshire . They were arrested in May last year. Three other employees were acquitted.
At the trial, the jury heard how two police officers working undercover visited the yard on nine occasions between March and May 2012.
The officers, known as “Andy” and “Kinger”, posed as metal thieves and spoke to the guilty pair about how they had “no sleep” after stealing copper phone and power cables.
Rogers, 42, of Bromsgrove, Faringdon, is a director at the scrap yard and was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £1,500 costs and a £150 victims’ surcharge.
36-year-old Pace was fined £250 and told to pay a £25 victims’ surcharge.
In sentencing the pair, Judge Ian Pringle said he was sad to see Pace before the court and describe him as a “hardworking decent man”.
“You knew you were buying stolen metal, indicating ‘from the off’ that you wished the officers had not told you how they had come by the stolen material,” said Judge Pringle.
Rogers and Pace both said they would appeal against their convictions.