THREE men have appeared in court accused of buying stolen scrap metal.
Scrapyard workers James Cumberland, his son, also called James, and Michael Kelly are alleged to have bought cable belonging to Network Rail from undercover officers as part of a sting operation.
The three pleaded not guilty to attempting to receive stolen goods when they appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.
Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said the three worked at Hanratty’s scrapyard in Back Lodge Terrace in Hendon, Sunderland.
The cable was supplied to police by the rail network company in a bid to track down scrap dealers who were trading in stolen metal.
Cumberland Senior, 46, and Kelly, 33, face two charges relating to 40kg and 12kg of cable sold on December 15 and December 19, 2011.
His 22-year-old son is also charged with buying 23kg of cable in December 2011.
Magistrates accepted jurisdiction and a trial will take place in July.
The Cumberlands, from Glendale Avenue, Usworth, Washington, and Kelly, of Tanfield Road, Thorney Close, Sunderland, were granted bail until their next court date.