Substation electrocution tragedy: Two men admit burglary

IPSWICH: Two men who broke into a substation and watched in horror as a father-of-two was electrocuted have admitted two charges of burglary.

Adam Head, 30, of Fletcher Road, Ipswich, and Frank Day, 27, of Hawke Road, Ipswich, broke into the substation in Ransomes Way on April 14.

During the raid Johnathan Ehlert, 30, a former Holywells High School pupil from Fletcher Road, Ipswich, was killed after sustaining fatal burns.

Head and Day appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The pair each pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary with intent to steal.

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The charges relate to two incidents – one at Crane in Nacton Road and the other at the substation where Mr Ehlert died.

Stephen Colman, prosecuting, said: “The group went to Crane, a disused factory near the substation and they went there to get scrap metal.

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“There was some conflict over whether they should then go to the substation.

“Day told police in an interview that their intention was to look for scrap metal so they could get money for Mr Ehlert’s son’s birthday party.

“The group wanted to go to the substation but Day told them he thought it would be too dangerous.”

Mr Colman said the group decided to go in and moments later Mr Ehlert was electrocuted.

He added: “Day was acting as a look-out when he heard a bang and saw an explosion – he was aware what had happened.”

The court heard that the damage caused to the substation as a result of the incident had cost �30,000 to repair.

Mark Holt, mitigating, said: “Both defendants expressed their concern to Mr Ehlert.

“They told him not to go in to the substation or touch cables.

“Both of them, to their credit, called security guards immediately after the incident.

“One of them waited until an ambulance arrived and showed paramedics to where Mr Ehlert was lying.

“They are very upset by this. To see their friend die in front of them was shocking.

“None of them caused the damage to the substation – we say the deceased caused this.”

District Judge David Cooper told the pair they would be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court at a later date.

Day said: “We hold our hands up and will accept any punishment we get.”

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