Man admits stealing cable - from police

CIVILIAN police worker Melvyn Page today denied stealing electric cable from Suffolk Constabulary.The 47-year-old of Norwich Road, Creeting St Mary, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court charged with two counts of theft.

By Colin Adwent

CIVILIAN police worker Melvyn Page today denied stealing electric cable from Suffolk Constabulary.

The 47-year-old of Norwich Road, Creeting St Mary, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court charged with two counts of theft.

The jury heard that one of the charges related to the theft of two rolls of specially armoured electrical cable for outdoor use, belonging to Suffolk Police.

The other related to two scaffolding boards, the owner of which is unknown.

Prosecutor Charles Myatt told the court Page, who had worked for Suffolk Police for around 25 years, was responsible for maintaining portable police units which are used at the scene of major incidents.

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Mr Myatt said in early February 2002 the transport service manager at Suffolk Police was told his department needed to buy more cabling.

The flex was ordered by the stores officer with the amount suggested by Page.

Five hundred metres of cabling, in ten 50-metre drums, was ordered from WF Ltd, an electrical supply store, in Farthing Road, Ipswich on February 2 last year.

The court then heard the next day Page returned and ordered another 150 metres of flex in three 50-metre drums.

The court heard Page went to pick up the flex in a Ford Focus owned by Suffolk Police.

The vehicle technician should then have dropped the cabling off to force headquarters in Martlesham.

Mr Wyatt said: "However it would seem that two of the drums either never arrived at Martlesham Heath or if they did they found their way to Mr Page's home address."

He added police were alerted to the alleged theft when a friend, who worked with Page, saw two drums of armoured flex when he went to help do some work at Page's home.

Police went to Page's house to search for stolen items and found a completely unused drum of cable and a further empty drum running an electrical supply from a garage to a cement mixer.

The jury were told Page claims the two drums found at his home were purchased by him for personal use in April 2002 but he told police he had not kept the receipt.

Officers also searched the transport service complex at Martlesham Heath and a vehicle compound in Woodbridge and discovered a shortfall in the amount of cable which should have been there, said Mr Wyatt.

The prosecution allege that when the mileage on the Ford Focus Page had driven that day was checked, a journey of 35 miles was made – the distance from Martlesham Heath to W F Ltd to Creeting St Mary and back to Martlesham Heath.

Mr Wyatt said Page was also charged with the theft of two scaffolding boards which police had found at his home, although it has not been established who owned the boards prior to the alleged theft. Page also denies this allegation.

The trial continues.

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