Rugby man who stole £26k worth of cable and brass from railway jailed after dropping glove at scene

Warwick Crown Court sits at Leamington Justice Centre
Warwick Crown Court sits at Leamington Justice Centre

A man who cut his way into a railway maintenance store to steal cable and brass fittings worth almost £26,000 was caught after dropping a glove at the scene.

And at Warwick Crown Court Damian Hyett, 36, of Parkfield Road, Rugby, was jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to the burglary.

Prosecutor Peter McCartney said that on Boxing Day last year a railway overhead line storage depot in Hunters Lane, Rugby, was broken into.

Security cameras picked up two men cutting through the surrounding fence at 10.30pm that night before cutting a hole in the wall of the building.

They escaped with brass fittings and copper cable worth a total of almost £26,000 and Recorder Adrian Redgrave QC commented: “I imagine they are highly technical pieces of equipment.”

Mr McCartney said that because it was dark it was not possible to identify the intruders from the CCTV recording; but a glove was found with small amounts of Hyett’s DNA on it.

And when he was arrested in March he admitted: “Me and a friend did it. We cut through the corrugated metal and helped ourselves to a bit of brass and copper.”

He said his mate sold the metal as scrap the following day and they split the proceeds, getting £800-900 each.

The court heard that Hyett had ‘a very long record,’ with 94 offences of theft or other dishonesty, and in May he had been given a 16-week suspended sentence for a non-dwelling burglary with intent to steal.

Puneet Grewal, defending, said that in view of Hyett admitting the storage depot burglary in March, she did not know why he had not been dealt with for that as well in May.

Asking the judge to impose a further suspended sentence, she said the one imposed in May was working for Hyett, who was ‘fed up of going in and out of custody.’

She said that at the time Hyett was using amphetamine every day and was high on drugs when he carried out the burglary, but was now dealing with his drug use.

But Recorder Redgrave responded: “This was the theft of a significant amount of what I infer was specialist equipment, not just rods of copper or brass.

“Given that there were 700 items stolen and the value is put at £26,000, the value of the equipment is not from what it’s made of, but what it’s made for.

“It is obvious there was a significant degree of planning because it required cutting fences and cutting into the building and transporting the goods away.”

And he told Hyett: “The very fact that you and your accomplice were paid something of the order of £1600-£1800 scrap value indicates the gravity of this offence.”