Lead thieves caught hiding in undergrowth at former army barracks

Lead thieves caught hiding in undergrowth at former army barracks

TWO men were caught hiding in undergrowth beside a large quantity of lead at the former Shackleton army barracks in Ballykelly, Limavady Magistrates Court was told.

Details emerged at the court, which was sitting in Ballymena, as Jason Wray (23), of Churchill Road in Ballykelly, admitted attempting to steal lead and causing damage to a fence on September 12, 2018.

The court heard the offence happened at a time when the defendant was already the subject of a suspended sentence for handling stolen goods.

With the defendant appearing at Wednesday's court via video link from his solicitor's office, a prosecutor said that on September 12 three years ago police were called to the former barracks.

There had been a "spate" of thefts at the barracks and security staff and workmen said they had seen two males on a roof.

It was believed the two males were still in a derelict building.

Police were shown a "large hole which had been cut in the perimeter fence that day" and as officers searched the derelict building, security staff found two males hiding in undergrowth just inside the fence.

The prosecutor said a "large amount of lead or lead flashing removed from the various areas was recovered by police".

The court heard the co-accused's case is being dealt with separately.

A defence solicitor said the building had been vacant for a long time and added: "It was pretty well known in the Limavady area that there were some pickings to be had in respect of it".

He said Wray and the co-accused had gone to the scene and "taken some lead but hadn't managed to get away with it".

The lawyer said the defendant knew he should not have been there but had not been in trouble since.

The case was adjourned to September 8 for a pre-sentence report.