Noisy thief caught after jingling gates

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A THIEF stole 14 gates from homes in a Wearside community to sell on as scrap metal.

Ricky Milner and an accomplice made so much noise during the stealing spree that worried residents called police, Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard.

Officers arrived and discovered the pair had taken 14 metal gates from houses in Cathedral View, in Newbottle, and the surrounding area and stashed them in the back of a Vauxhall Corsa.

Milner, of Calvert Terrace, Murton, went on to admit all in his police interview and said he was trying to make some cash.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said: “He said he would be trying to sell them on to a third party for scrap, since the price has gone up to £200 per tonne.

“He said he just took council gates, so what metal they are made of, I don’t know.”

Now the 27-year-old will be put to work doing community service, after pleading guilty to three charges of theft at the court.

Milner also asked for 10 similar offences to be taken into consideration.

Defence solicitor Neil Hodgson said he agreed with recommendations made in a pre-sentence report prepared by the Probation Service.

He added that Milner had recently moved in with his girlfriend and her two children and they were making a joint claim for benefits, which was still being processed.

Magistrates imposed a 12-month community order with 150 hours unpaid work and ordered Milner pay £85 towards court costs.