Dagenham cable thieves sentenced

A gang of copper thieves who cut off telephone and broadband service to residents after stealing a BT communications cable have been convicted thanks to a new forensic liquid.

Police arrested three men who were using a winch to steal telecommunication cabling from Parsloes Avenue, Dagenham, on July 24 last year.

They were charged with theft of cable and theft of a winch on November 4, and sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on March 4 this year for the offences.

The gang stole a large quantity of copper wiring, which was said to have caused massive disruption to residents and business in the area.

People lost access to telephone and broadband services for several hours, cutting them off from emergency services.

Police caught the thieves but they could not prove the wires had been stolen.

However, the cable which had been marked with the forensically coded liquid ‘SmartWater’ was sent away for forensic examination, which confirmed that it was stolen.

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All three men pleaded guilty to a charge of theft.

Unemployed Kristopher Huckle, 32, of Parsloes Avenue, Dagenham received an 18 month prison sentence.

One of his two accomplices, 23-year-old Robert Golding of Goldhurst Close, Canning Town, was given 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years. and he was ordered to to 120 hours of unpaid work.

Michael Barrow, 19, a security employee of Phillip Street, Newham, was electronically tagged and curfewed between 9pm and 7am daily for four months.