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Burtonwood man helps steal £1.5m worth of track
4:02pm Monday 2nd July 2012 in News
A BURTONWOOD man has been jailed for his role in a gang of railway contractors who stole £1.5m of track from Network Rail.
Terry Doherty, of Rushton Close, headed a group of seven men who exploited maintenance work to steal and sell off 3,500 tonnes of metal.
Birmingham Crown Court heard today how the 48-year old is a co-director of BRP (Rugby) ltd and was sub contracted by Jarvis to remove the rail. It should have been taken to authorised recyclers with Network Rail receiving the cash.
Instead Doherty and Jarvis plant manager John Burtenshaw used other recycling plants and pocketed the cash.
The two ring leaders then used other contacts in the industry to continue with the large scale theft.
Doherty also conspired with Whitefiled resident Stuart Amphlett to steal rail from the Manchester Metrolink project.
The operation was uncovered by British Transport Police in August 2008 when a scrap dealer in Staffordshire was sold 208 tonnes of rail that had been removed from the Rugby upgrade project.
Doherty pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal. He was jailed for two years six months for the West Coast Mainline offences and 21 months for the Metrolink offences, to run concurrently.
DS Chris Hearn, of British Transport Police, said: “There is no doubt that the actions of this organised group deprived Network Rail and, in turn rail users across the country, of valuable finance which could have been put towards maintenance and improvements.
“This case clearly shows just how damaging metal theft is to communities and, particularly, to the rail industry.”
Neil Henry, head of operations and performance at Network Rail, said: "The value of the material stolen is wasted money as far as Network Rail is concerned. That's £1.5m that could otherwise have been spent on additional passenger facilities at stations or perhaps invested in technology to improve reliability of the railway.
"I hope the sentences today make others stop and think before they consider stealing vital equipment from the railway.”