Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 15°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Baylham: ‘Nighthawkers’ admit theft of Roman artefacts

16:55 05 September 2012

Metal detector users admit thefts

Metal detector users admit thefts

Archant

TWO metal detector users have admitted stealing coins and other artefacts from a protected Roman site in Baylham, near Needham Market.

shares

Scott Mitchell and Allan Oakley have had their equipment confiscated following the theft of several items belonging to the English Heritage site.

They were arrested in March, a month after three other men were detained following an alleged assault with a metal pole on another man at the site at Baylham Rare Breeds Farm. There is no suggestion Oakley and Mitchell were involved in the earlier alleged incident, which also involved metal detector users.

Oakley, 48, of Halton Road, Grays, and Mitchell, 44, of Phoenix Place, Dartford, admitted theft and using a metal detector in a protected place without consent, when they appeared before Bury St Edmunds magistrates.

The pair were at Baylham between 1.30am and 2.20am on March 29.

Police, who had been keeping watch over the site after the previous incident, saw an area of ground had been disturbed. They also noticed an unattended vehicle in a layby just before the Coddenham exit of the A14.

Oakley and Mitchell were subsequently arrested and items were found in the pockets of their camouflage jackets.

Roman coins, a buckle fitting, terracotta lamps, a lead button and copper and metal work were discovered during the inquiry.

In addition to the forfeiture of their metal detecting equipment, Oakley and Mitchell were given conditional discharges for 24 months, and ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs.

On February 18 three men were arrested following an alleged fight at the same location. Emergency services were called at around 3.15am after a man sustained head injuries.

It was believed that a number of men had been scouring the Roman site surrounding the farm looking for unearthed treasure and had been involved in a confrontation.

A 38-year-old man, from the Grays area of Essex, was believed to have been struck with a “metal pole” and was taken to West Suffolk Hospital for treatment. As a result of the incident 41-year-old from Grays, and 43-year-old man from Grays, were subsequently cautioned by police for theft of coins.

Shortly afterwards Richard Storer, the owner of Baylham Rare Breeds Farm said it was regularly plagued by unauthorised people with metal detectors in search of lucrative artefacts.

Nighthawking is illegal metal detecting, which is carried out overnight to avoid arrest, on sites of archaeological interest.

shares

0 comments

Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House in Ipswich.

The number of high earners at Suffolk County Council has risen for the first time in four years, according to new figures.

The scene of the accident on the A133 at Weeley between a push bike and a van.

A woman cyclist is in a life-threatening condition in hospital following a collision with a van on the A133 at Weeley.

Knives handed in during an amnesty at Clacton Police Station

A survey by a weapons awareness charity has found one-quarter of youngsters in Clacton have been threatened with a knife.

The Energy from Waste Site in Great Blakenham.

Nearly a year after it first started to turn Suffolk’s waste into something useful – electricity – the Great Blakenham incinerator is helping to keep rubbish out of the county’s holes in the ground.

Police are investigating after rope was tied across a road

‘Lives are being put at risk’ – that’s the warning from Essex Police after motorists had to manoeuvre around a rope which was tied across a road.

Writer and historian Dr Mark Felton

A historian and author from Colchester whose book has been picked up by Hollywood has released a new thriller based on another daring Second World War mission.

Toby Freeman from Robin Cancer Trust, Ben Payne from Reflective Ice Limited and Angie Diggens from St Helena Hospice are teaming up to have a charity night at the Winter Wonderland and Ice Rink in Colchester Castle Park.

An ice rink planned for central Colchester this winter will be taken over by local charities for a night.

Ladbrokes

Two men stole hundreds of pounds during an armed robbery at a bookmakers in Felixstowe last night.

Maggie Scorer and Oscar in front of Brighton Pier

It has taken close to six months, covering a distance of almost 5,000 miles, but the home stretch is in sight for round-Britain cyclist Maggie Scorer and her travelling companion, Oscar.

Robert Morton

The new chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service, Robert Morton, has big plans for the future of the trust.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages