Cable thief in court over damage which cost Network Rail nearly £18k
Chad Baldwin admitted theft, obstructing the railway and possession of a class B drug following a British Transport Police investigation.
The 37-year-old's DNA was found to be linked to various incidents across two Rotherham sites earlier this year.
On March 19, officers were called to an area of track where 20 metres of 48-core cable had been stolen.
Police were alerted to a theft in progress at another location the following day - and found Baldwin hiding in woods nearby.
About two metres of cable had been taken from the side of a bridge. Officers found two hand saws at the scene, on which was found remnants of the cabling and Baldwin’s DNA.
Baldwin was arrested for theft and during a search an amount of amphetamine was discovered.
Investigating officer PC Matthew France said: “A common misconception is that cable theft is a victimless crime.
“This is not true. Baldwin’s illegal activity resulted in huge delays and disruption to services which impact then everyday users of the railway.
“These delays resulted in Network Rail paying out almost £18,000 to train operating companies.
“Ultimately it is the passenger that pays the price through disruption to their travel plans.”
Baldwin, of Masbrough Street in Rotherham, was sentenced by magistrates on August 25 to two months in prison suspended for 18 months.
He was also ordered to complete a drug rehabilitation order and complete 120 hours’ unpaid work.