Roof lead burglars caught in the act

PUBLISHED: 10:16 15 February 2007 | UPDATED: 13:51 04 May 2010

TWO burglars were caught red-handed as they tried to steal lead from the roof of a disused industrial building. Albert Smith and John Hughes were on the roof of D S Smith Corrugated when police arrived at the Burwell premises. The six-foot fence around th

TWO burglars were caught red-handed as they tried to steal lead from the roof of a disused industrial building.

Albert Smith and John Hughes were on the roof of D S Smith Corrugated when police arrived at the Burwell premises.

The six-foot fence around the Reach Road premises had been breached, and a blue Transit van was parked nearby. The men claimed that a man of eastern European appearance had given them permission to remove scrap from the building.

At a trial before Ely magistrates, both men were convicted of attempted burglary in January. Hughes, 30, of Gamlingay, was given a 60-hour community work order at that hearing, and on Thursday 50-year co-defendant Albert Smith was given the same sentence. Both were ordered to pay £335 costs.

Prosecutor Matthew Bradbury said both defendants came up with a "cock and bull story," claiming they had asked for scrap metal, and were invited on to the premises. The court heard that Smith had served a six-year sentence for conspiracy to rob.

"The metal was of low value," said solicitor Kevin Warboys, "and the premises were semi-derelict.

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