Scrap dealer faces £60,000 bill over stolen cable

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A SCRAP dealer caught buying stolen copper cable must pay £50,000 as the proceeds of crime.

Charles Newton faces a further bill of £10,000 in police costs.

Newton, 66, of Pinders Way, Sherburn Hill, Durham City, was arrested at his yard in Wingate after a police operation in which undercover officers offered him cable clearly marked as belonging to BT.

Newton, whose family has run Newton Metal Recycling for four generations, bought cable from the officers despite an earlier visit from uniformed officers warning him not to participate in the illegal trade of stolen scrap.

He was given a suspended prison sentence at Durham Crown Court in March of this year after he admitted handling stolen goods.

Newton was back before the same court this week for a hearing to determine if any of his assets can be seized as the proceeds of crime. The court was told agreement had been reached between prosecution and defence lawyers.

Judge Colin Burn ordered Newton to pay the £60,000 or face 16 months in prison if he does not.

A member of Newton’s staff, Christopher Frizzell, 29, of Cummings Square, Wingate, was ordered to pay £540 as the proceeds of crime.