Junkie jailed for lead theft

A DRUG addict who posed as a surveyor while stealing lead from the rooftop of a construction site has been jailed for 19 months. 

Paul Christopher Thornton, 38, claimed to be investigating a report of missing lead when he was seen on the site on Bond Street, Dewsbury, on March 18.

Leeds Crown Court was told that Thornton was spotted by the site manager and when asked why he was there, he told the manager that he was working on behalf of the owner, investigating allegations of missing lead.

After quickly realising that he was lying, the manager called the police as Thornton was walking away. He began to follow him but Thornton became aggressive.

When arrested, police discovered a trade knife and gloves in his pockets.

Thornton was convicted of theft, having a bladed item and failing to surrender at an earlier hearing.

Matthew Harding, representing Thornton, told the court that his client had problems with drug addiction which led to him committing the offence.

“He found his own address but had slipped back when he began associating with other drug users and then became involved in the recent offence to try to fund his addiction,” said Mr Harding.

The lead involved in the theft was valued at around £2,000 and could not be re-used because of the damage caused to it.

Thornton, of East Bath Street, Batley, had two previous convictions for possessing a bladed article.

He was also handed a community order in January for a robbery.

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