Thief seen taking scrap metal from bin

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STEALING scrap metal from a resident’s driveway has ended in court for one 22-year-old.

The court was told that Daniel Clarke took the goods following confusion over which address to attend.

A neighbour became suspicious of him looking around and contacted the resident who found the metal gone from their bin.

A scrap metal company was contacted who said there was a person who had arrived and was weighing some scrap metal.

Eastbourne magistrates heard the defendant had already been in trouble with the police weeks earlier.

They had approached him and asked him to step outside the vehicle and put his hands behind his back to which he responded, ‘You don’t need to cuff me I haven’t done anything wrong’.

Clarke, care of Dacre Road, Herstmonceux, was repeatedly asked to put his hands behind his back and was warned he would be sprayed if he didn’t.

He then swore at police and continued his verbal attack in custody.

Magistrates heard the matter for which he was arrested in the first place did not proceed.

Clarke pleaded guilty to theft and obstructing a constable in the execution of their duty.

Tim Stirmey, defending, said, “He accepts that although there was a request of him to take scrap metal he didn’t know for sure it was the scrap metal in question.

“He would accept there must be an element of dishonesty here.

“What Mr Clarke is generally doing is legal, asking if they want scrap metal removed. On this occasion he goes over the line.

“Regarding the resisting arrest, he knew he had done nothing wrong for the matter he is being arrested for and no further action was taken.

“But police have to follow up an arrest and interview and make a decision.

“He lives in a caravan. The way he lives at the moment is pretty fluid. He isn’t receiving any benefits.”

A probation officer told the court it was evident that Clarke used cocaine quite frequently and that he wanted to stop.

Clarke was given a 12-month community order with 50 hours of unpaid work.

He must also attend eight to 12 sessions of a drug intervention programme.