Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

Suffolk: Rail cable theft gang jailed

PUBLISHED: 16:58 29 January 2013 | UPDATED: 17:07 29 January 2013

Christopher Daniel Cruz

Christopher Daniel Cruz

A GANG of cable thieves who caused enormous disruption for Suffolk rail passengers today received jail sentences totalling more than 12 years.

The six men carried out 47 raids from May to August 2011 on railway and BT communications cable.

They targeted Essex, Leicestershire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, as well as London.

The line from Liverpool Street to Suffolk was among those affected.

Aside from the delays and cancellations of trains the thieves cost Network Rail and BT almost £715,000 in the replacement and the repairing of cables as well as fines incurred to train operators.

Christopher Cruz, 33, Kris Kreuder, 33, Shaun Nembhard, 44, John Michael Newton, 36, who are all from Basildon, and Bill Lee, 60, who is already serving a jail sentence, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal cable from the railway network.

Simon Scott, 45, of no fixed abode, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal railway cable.

Cruz was jailed for three years and nine months in prison by Blackfriars Crown Court.

Scott received three years and six months imprisonment; Nembhard two years and three months; Lee to two years in addition to a two-and-a-half-year sentence he is already serving, and Kreuder given one year and four months in prison.

Officers were first alerted to the gang in May 2011, when Network Rail reported 400 metres of cable had been cut and stolen from the line in Chelmsford.

A number of other incidents across the railway in the surrounding counties prompted a major investigation by specialist British Transport Police metal theft officers.

On August 30, 2011 officers arrested Cruz, Newton and Lee near Maldon Road, Margaretting, Essex, in possession of a large amount of BT cable.

These arrests, together with a detailed analysis and examination of their mobile phones, linked the three other men to the crimes.

Sentencing for Newton was deferred until March.

Simon Davies, General Manager for cable and payphone crime in BT, said: “This gang had complete disregard for the disruption caused to other peoples’ lives by their criminal activities, and it’s pleasing to see the court dealing with them in this way.”

Sergeant Joe McClenaghan, the investigating officer from British Transport Police, said: “These sentences show that it is simply not worth considering stealing cable from the rail network.

A Suffolk war hero who survived eight bomb blasts has told this newspaper a new political party launching nationwide next month aims repair the country’s public services – and give disillusioned voters a voice.

An appeal has been launched to find an Essex man wanted in connection with a failure to appear at court.

A world-renowned female harpist has denied sexually abusing a schoolboy and told a trial that he sexually assaulted her while she was in the shower.

Starstruck pupils at a Suffolk primary school gasped and cheered as The Voice contestants Tania Hambleton and Ryan North treated the excited youngsters to a mini concert.

The mother of a man with Down’s Syndrome who died at the age of just 33 says she believes her son’s death was ‘wholly preventable’, an inquest has heard.

A Suffolk MP has demanded the Government pledge emergency cash to solve an ambulance crisis which whistleblowers claim has killed scores across the region.

The University of Essex is among more than 60 institutions set to strike next month over pensions – however staff at the University of Suffolk are not expected to take part.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24