Jailed for theft of copper from care home site

The copper was stolen during the construction of Lomond View Care Home on the site of the former Edward House
The copper was stolen during the construction of Lomond View Care Home on the site of the former Edward House

A man who stole £12,000 worth of copper from a building site during the construction of a nursing home has been jailed for 14 months.

David Martin (32) was spotted in dark clothing jumping over a fence with another man at Edward House, Falkland, Cupar Sheriff Court has heard.

When police arrived the pair ran off and it was discovered that 200 metres of copper piping had been stripped from the inside of the roof.

Martin, of 19 Macindoe Crescent, Kirkcaldy, appeared on indictment before Sheriff Charles Macnair.

He admitted stealing a quantity of copper while acting with another on October 24, 2012.

Depute fiscal Nicola Henderson told the court that at the time Martin was employed by Blyth Construction, a company that undertook the demolition of derelict buildings.

But he had not been authorised to enter the site where the new care home was being built.

Suspicions were aroused when he and the other man were heard talking about the amount of copper in the building, but the accused was seen driving off towards Kirkcaldy later that afternoon.

It was at around 9pm that night that noises were heard coming from the site and an anonymous caller contacted the police to say the pair had been seen jumping the fence.

The accused’s vehicle was later seen outside a house in Falkland and in the early hours of the morning he and the other man were seen opening it.

“They were acting suspiciously, ducking and hiding as though they were trying not to be seen,” said Ms Henderson.

“The vehicle was driven off without its headlights.”

Defence solicitor Jim Litterick described Martin as ‘a responsible hard-working young man’ whose world had ‘fallen apart’ when he broke up with his partner and lost his job the previous December.

Until that time, he had worked hard to make a life for himself following his release from prison 14 years ago.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Macnair told the accused: “Theft of metal is a very serious problem in this country.

“You have a bad record, albeit there was a gap of a significant time.

“In the circumstances I consider the only appropriate sentence is one of imprisonment.”