Scrap metal dealer admits to stealing lead and copper from two Norfolk homes

King's Lynn Magistrates' Court, The Court House, College Lane, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt.

King's Lynn Magistrates' Court, The Court House, College Lane, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt. - Credit: IAN BURT

Gary Coss was struggling to make a living when he stole the scrap metal from homes in Swaffham and Sculthorpe, near Fakenham, magistrates heard.

Coss admitted two charges of theft after stealing lead outside a home in Sculthorpe, near Fakenham as well as copper from a garden in Swaffham.

Delia Matthews, prosecuting, told the court that in the first incident on May 15 a neighbour spotted Coss when his van was parked outside a house in Blenheim Road, in Sculthorpe.

She said: 'Two males were seen walking up the driveway and looking through the window of the house. When the coast was clear they both picked up the lead and put it in the van and drove off.'

In the second incident, which happened on June 19, the court heard Coss went around the back garden of a home in Southlands, in Swaffham, and stole copper valued at £220. CCTV at the home identified him.

Representing himself in court, Coss apologised for the thefts. He explained that times were hard as the price of scrap metal had gone down, and he was struggling to pay the bills.

The 49-year-old also entered guilty pleas for two further charges: making payment for scrap metal other than by cheque or transfer when acting for a scrap metal dealer and carrying on business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence.

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Coss, of Linton Close, Farndon, near Newark, said: 'I have been a scrap man for over 10 years and it [the processes] had all changed three years ago. I went to pay by cash because I didn't know things had changed. I realise it was my fault, I just put the cash up front.'

He added: 'I have a licence now but not for the area around King's Lynn.'

Coss appeared before King's Lynn magistrates yesterday and was fined £175, plus a £180 criminal court charge, £20 victim surcharge, and £85 costs. No separate penalties were imposed for the other two charges.