max temp: 11°C

min temp: 8°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


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


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.



Daniel Compton with daughter Evie

The parents of baby Evie Compton have spoken of their heartache after revealing it is unlikely she will be allowed to fly home to Ipswich for Christmas.

Matt Bunn joined the Ipswich Round Table's annual Rudolph Run.

The festive lights have been switched on in the middle of Ipswich and – before we know it – Rudolph and Father Christmas will be spreading their magic around town.

Don't feed the ducks this winter

People are being urged not to feed left over bread to the ducks in Ipswich’s Christchurch Park.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A Suffolk parish council clerk who carried out a £16,000 fraud by over-ordering stationery items and selling them on the internet has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send her straight to prison.

A parade of puppets, live bands, fireworks and a packed Angel Hill, Abbey Gardens and town centre - the annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

Tens of thousands of people swarmed to west Suffolk this weekend for what organisers expect to have been a record breaking Christmas Fayre.

Mick Mills and Bobby Robson with the UEFA Cup in 1981. (Photo Dave Kindred/Archant)

A local football story jumped from the sports pages to take over the EADT’s main news spot on November 30, 1981.

Hadleigh High Street

After 16 years running her shop from the same building, Barbara Boyd is ready to take it up a gear as she moves into new premises.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24