Man fined for scavenging copper along railway

RAILWAY TRESPASS: An early morning scavenger hunt at East Fork proved costly for an Orange man caught with suspected stolen copper. FILE PHOTO

RAILWAY TRESPASS: An early morning scavenger hunt at East Fork proved costly for an Orange man caught with suspected stolen copper. FILE PHOTO

MAGISTRATE Terry Lucas lectured a man in Orange Local Court on Monday on the danger and problems he could have caused when he stole copper wiring from around the rail line at East Fork on August 11.

Represented by legal aid solicitor Gerry Stapleton, Matthew Thomas Ingram pleaded guilty to entering enclosed land without a lawful excuse and two counts of having goods in custody suspected of being stolen.

“You cannot go to railway yards taking stuff,” Mr Lucas said.

“You could potentially cause serious danger removing wires needed at the railway.”

He then fined Ingram $300 for entering the NSW Rail land at East Fork without permission as well as $350 for possessing 122 kilograms of copper suspected of being stolen and an additional $350 fine for possessing 10 mobile phones and an iPod that were also suspected of being stolen.

The 37-year-old Eungella Place resident was arrested by police at 7.45am on August 11 when they caught him by the rail line with his car and the items.

“It was early in the morning, he saw some scrap metal and thought he could take it,” Mr Stapleton said.

“It does appear that the property in his possession was recovered, it is unknown who the owners are.”

Mr Stapleton said his client’s last arrest was 10 years ago and he had an impeccable work history and had always been employed.

A police statement said at 7.30am on Thursday, August 11, police received a call from a community member reporting a car parked on the railway track at the East Fork at the junction of Peisley Street and Forest Road.

According to the statement when police arrived a man ran across the rail line away from them but Ingram was standing by his vehicle and when questioned by police said he was collecting scrap metal. 

In a search of the vehicle the police found copper items in the boot valued at $603.90 and a canvas bag containing the phones and iPod. Next to the car was a pile of conduit stripped from wiring.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop