A man who stole suitcases from on board trains travelling between Scotland and Newcastle has been sentenced following an investigation by British Transport Police.
John Adam Durrant (31), of Brodie Court, Glenrothes, appeared at Newcastle Magistrates Court on Friday where he was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £6035 in compensation to the victims.
Durrant pleaded guilty to the theft of two suitcases from on board trains travelling between Scotland and Newcastle on April 4 and October 4 this year.
Police constable Cheryl Bainbridge, who is part of the British Transport Police’s dedicated team of officers who tackle theft on the railway network in the North East, said: “Durrant stole cases containing a number of personal and valuable items belonging to two passengers.
“We welcome the sentencing handed down and the compensation awarded by the court to the victims which reflects this.
“One of the cases he stole contained a specialist orthodontist’s teeth mould belonging to one of the victims .
“She had been having extensive treatment on her teeth over a long period of time.
“The theft required her to make numerous appointments to get a new mould which was extremely time consuming and inconvenient for her.
“In the interim the victim’s teeth had moved leaving her extremely distressed.
“Durrant, who previously resided in the Ashington area of Northumberland before moving to Fife, travelled between the two towns on a regular basis every fortnight.
“If we hadn’t have caught him in the act I’m sure he would have continued to target other passengers on this route.”
He was identified after his image was circulated in the media and was subsequently placed on police warrant.
He was arrested at Newcastle Centurion Pub after he was seen sat in the pub drinking a pint.
PC Bainbridge added: “Regrettably, the theft of passenger property on the rail network has been on the rise.
“BTP recently launched Operation Magnum nationally to crack down on this type of crime and we want to send a strong message out to thieves that we have a dedicated team of officers specifically focused on tackling this type of crime.”