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Off-duty policeman foiled 'organised' metal theft
A METAL theft on a north Hampshire housing estate was foiled thanks to the keen ears of an off-duty policeman.
Sergeant Trevor Taylor heard the sounds on an angle grinder at the Sherfield Park estate, near Sherfield-on-Loddon, at 10pm on August 19 this year.
He called the police and a dog unit found Matthew Dorkin hiding in some bushes, Winchester Crown Court heard.
Dorkin, 40, of Lundy Close, Popley, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to burglary and breach of a suspended sentence.
Dawn Hyland, prosecuting, said Sgt Taylor heard the sound of the angle grinder coming from part of the estate that was under construction.
She said: “The area was contained and officers found in the undergrowth a bag containing an angle grinder and a crowbar.
“A dog unit then found the defendant with two others in the undergrowth.”
The court heard that £1,000 worth of damage had been done to latches on containers which contained copper and bathroom materials. But nothing had been stolen.
Miss Hyland said that in committing the offence, Dorkin was in breach of a nine-month suspended sentence he received for handling a stolen tool box.
Catherine Roberts, defending, said that her client did have a previous record for theft and dishonesty offences, but had tried since 2003 “to put his life back on track”.
She added: “He’s very regretful about this offence. He was told there was an opportunity and he very foolishly took up that opportunity.”
Judge Gary Burrell said: “This offence of burglary, whilst not the worst of its type, was reasonably well organised.”
He sentenced Dorkin to four months for burglary and another four months for breaching his suspended sentence, to run consecutively.