Metal hunter who turned burglar hit with curfew order

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A scrap metal hunter has appeared before a court after his lawful mission turned into a burglary.

Peter Carl Hall, 38, had not intended to commit any crime, Wigan and Leigh Magistrates heard.

But when he and a friend saw an insecure door at the large Leigh Spinners Mill in Park Lane, he entered to see what he could steal, said prosecutor Tess Kenyon.

Hall, of Chisworth Close, Leigh, ended up opening workers’ lockers in search of cash but only found a pair of sun glasses that he wanted to steal.

However, he also found some bolt cutters in the mill’s stores which he used to break the lock on external gates so that he could leave the mill by another door.

Operations director Anthony Walsh said Hall’s actions had disrupted production and claimed £2,000 compensation.

However this was rejected by JPs because the company hadn’t submitted sufficient evidence about how this figure had been arrived at.

Jobless Hall pleaded guilty to entering the mill as a trespasser and stealing £150 of property.

He was traced after police, called to the mill after evidence of the burglary came to light, recognised his face from the closed circuit television.

His co-accused had already been dealt with last month by way of a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement and curfew.

Martin Jones, defending, said that Hall was still recovering from a dog bite attack in which his leg was seriously injured, that has also made it difficult for him to find work.

Magistrates gave Hall a year long community order and a 12 week long 8pm to 8am curfew.

He must also make a £85 contribution towards the costs of prosecution, pay an £85 victim surcharge plus £50 compensation for the theft.