17 Feb 2014
Metal fence thief told to prepare for prison
Posted by Super User

In a rather curious incident, an Elland man has recently been found guilty of stealing metal fencing belonging to the Network Rail and has been sentenced to a term in prison. Jason Stott, 41, was found by uniformed officers in the Lowlands Way area of Elland, presumably in the act. At the time, Stott denied the accusations, stating that he was instead planning on moving the metal fencing back as part of a larger construction plan.  

Unfortunately for Stott, further inquiry revealed that no construction plans had been drawn up for this particular section of the Network Rail. The rail serves quite a valuable purpose, frustrating attempts by pedestrians who are intent on finding their way onto the tracks. After further examination of Stott's personal effects, a variety of texts were found that indicated he planned on selling the fencing units after he had stolen them. Additionally, police found previously stolen panels in the car port of his home.

Although Stott maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings, the trial jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict in a brief period of time. Stott was unable to provide the necessary evidence to further reinforce his claims that he was indeed operating as a construction contractor as opposed to a thief. Although Judge John Potter told Stott that he had yet to make up his mind regarding a punishment, he warned him to prepare for a custodial sentence.

An integral element of determining the severity of Stott's punishment is related to the crucial role these fencing units play in maintaining safety and order around the Network Rail. Fencing products such as these ensure that the Network Rail can operate efficiently, devoid of personal injury or harm. Stott's actions, had they not been stopped, could have greatly reduced general safety in the area until the fencing was replaced. Because of this, it's no surprise that Stott would be placed in a position to receive a lofty punishment that is, arguably, in keeping with the nature of his crimes. Although his efforts were thwarted, his actions were, nonetheless, severe in nature and potentially harmful to the citizens of Elland.