JAILED: Truck driver who ‘scrapped’ cable worth £500,000

Preston Crown Court

Preston Crown Court

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A man who weighed in almost half-a-million pounds worth of electric cable, stolen from his employer, has been jailed for 21 months.

Royston Bruce (46) used his position as a driver for HSL Group Ltd in Blackburn to take the stolen metal to the recycling plant where he traded it in for cash. Following his arrest in August 2014, Bruce, of Ivy Street, Burnley, told police he thought it was “a victimless crime” and was shocked to discover the value of the cable he had weighed in for scrap. Preston Crown Court heard £30,000 had passed through Bruce’s account with European Metal Recycling (EMR) Blackburn, which the defendant had split six ways with other men.

The court heard Bruce was the driver of a 17 ton truck for the company when he was approached by another employee and asked if he wanted to make a bit of extra cash. Between December 2012 and August 2014, Bruce weighed in a total of £476,000 of stolen metal.

In September 2014 his truck was searched and a receipt for 259kg of cabling was found, sparking an investigation. Mr Peter Barr (prosecuting) said much of the material which Bruce took to the scrapyard was electric cabling used in TV installation and at music festivals. Even faulty cables could be repaired or recycled and should not be weighed in, the court heard. Bruce admitted theft from his employer and has lost his job. Other employees were also investigated but no charges were brought against them.

Rachael Cooper (defending) said he was “thoroughly ashamed” at what he had done.

He was also ordered to pay a £100 surcharge.