Civilian police worker guilty of theft

A SUFFOLK police civilian worker has been found guilty of stealing electrical cable from the Force.Melvyn Page, 47 will be sentenced next month for one offence of theft after the probation service has prepared a pre-sentence report on him.

A SUFFOLK police civilian worker has been found guilty of stealing electrical cable from the Force.

Melvyn Page, 47 will be sentenced next month for one offence of theft after the probation service has prepared a pre-sentence report on him.

Adjourning sentence yesterday, Judge John Holt, warned Page that all sentencing options would remain open but said he wanted to consider community penalties.

Page, who had worked as a vehicle technician for Suffolk Police for 26 years until his suspension last September, had denied stealing two reels of armoured cable from the Force and a further offence of stealing two scaffolding boards from an unknown person.

A jury at Ipswich Crown Court took found Page guilty of stealing the cable but not guilty of stealing the scaffolding boards.

During the trial the court heard that the boards had been left outside a garage at Martlesham Heath Police Headquarters.

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Page claimed he had borrowed the boards and had intended to return them when he had finished using them. He had not asked permission to use them as he didn't know who they belonged to.

During the course of his work, Page had ordered 13 reels of electrical cable from a wholesaler in Ipswich.

Two of the reels were later found at Page's home in Norwich Road, Creeting St Mary. Page claimed he had paid £46 for the two reels of cable while he was collecting the electrical cable he had ordered for the police.

Prosecution counsel, Charles Myatt told the court yesterdaythat a number of items which clearly belonged to Suffolk police had also been found at Page's home when police searched the premises.

He said the prosecution would be seeking a disclaimer from Page in respect of that property.

Before the jury retired to consider its verdicts yesterday, character references were read to the court or were given in live evidence.

Retired police officer, John Bishop said in a letter he had, "Known and admired" Page for more than 25 years and could not recall an occasion when he had performed his duties at less than 100 percent.

Megan Howes said she was secretary of the Suffolk police branch of UNISON and had worked with Page in his role as branch chairman.

Greg Grant, a UNISON officer, said he had known the defendant for ten years and had always found him extremely trustworthy.

Pc Christopher Sadler, a former chairman of the Suffolk Police Federation, praised Page's trustworthiness and integrity and said he had never known him to abuse his position.

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