Businessman tells jury he would never buy anything he thought was stolen
- Credit: Archant
A man, who runs a business buying and selling precious metals, denied he knowingly had dealings with any burglary gang and said he would not buy anything he thought was stolen.
Thomas Pateman, 54, of Fen Road, Chesterton, Cambridgshire, is alleged to have provided outlets for stolen property for a criminal gang, who burgled more than 200 homes.
He is one of four defendants on trial at Norwich Crown Court accused of being part of a sophisticated criminal enterprise, which saw more than £2m worth of property stolen between February and December 2017, including high performance cars, cash and jewellery. The burglaries took place over Cambridgshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
Pateman has denied handling stolen goods,
Giving evidence, Pateman said he was a well-known figure in the travelling community and had been running his shop, in Cambridge, for about seven years.
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He said as well as buying and selling gold and silver, he also bought and sold bikes from his shop in Mill Road.
He said that he always gave receipts for items brought into his store, which he weighed and tested before giving them the price of the metal.
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He said the gold and silver prices fluctuated and as silver was not so valuable he collected a number of items before taking them to cash-in at Hatton Garden in London.
Pateman said that he was only interested in the scrap value of the items in weight.
He said he would often store silver items hidden in a bin at his shop and the more valuable gold items he would take home with him overnight for security.
Asked by his barrister, Ian James, if he knowingly had dealings with members of the burglary gang he replied: 'I have never. No.'
He also told the jury: 'I would not buy anything that was stolen.'
Pateman said the £12,600 seized at his arrest on May 17, last year, was mainly cash from the sale of the last lot of silver he had taken to Hatton Garden.
Also standing trial is Ammir Kohanzad, 68, of Ingestre Road, Calver, London, James Pateman, 55, of Wollens Brook, Hoddesdon, Herfordshire, and Simon Oakley, 45, who owns Stratton Quickfit in Long Stratton, of Alburgh Road, Hempnall. All four defendants deny all charges.
The trial continues