Lead thieves are fined after being caught by police

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TWO men have been fined for stealing lead.

Ashley Littlejohn and James McCall were initially charged with stealing £5,000 of lead from Fernhurst Junior School’s roof in Francis Avenue, Southsea. But although officers knew the lead was stolen, they couldn’t prove the men had taken it rather than found it.

They were arrested when police in an unmarked car chased them after spotting them riding bikes with lead wrapped around them at about 1.45am on October 28.

About half an hour earlier police had received a call that lead had been stolen from the school’s roof.

The initial theft charge faced by Littlejohn and McCall – to which both had pleaded not guilty – was dropped on the day of their trial due to a lack of evidence.

It was replaced with a charge of theft by finding which both men admitted.

Richard Withey, prosecuting, said: ‘It’s fair to say the Crown have accepted that they can’t prove that aspect of it.

‘I therefore accept that these men found the lead, removed it, took it and accordingly it’s theft by finding.’

Littlejohn, from Goldsmith Avenue, Southsea, and McCall, from Charles Street, Landport, Portsmouth, both 25, were each fined £100 at Fareham Magistrates’ Court.