HOUSEHOLDERS should be wary of leaving metal in view after a scrap dealer admitted stealing a lawn mower from an Ammanford garden. John Joseph McCarthy, of Penybryn caravan site near Llanelli, admitted taking the mower without permission. Ammanford magistrates heard how McCarthy, aged 48, and two others were seen in Villiers Road at 2pm on September 2.
Rhian Millidge, prosecuting, said McCarthy was seen taking the mower from Karen Jenkins’ garden, loading it into a white van and driving away.
A neighbour, who noted the van’s registration, informed Ms Jenkins and the police were called. McCarthy was stopped 30 minutes later with the mower still in the van.
McCarthy initially claimed he had permission to take the mower, but later admitted stealing it.
David Elvey, defending, said McCarthy was part of the traveller community for whom scrap dealing was considered traditional employment.
“However, a lot of people who have jumped on the bandwagon,”
said Mr Elvey.
Mr Elvey said McCarthy would normally seek permission before taking any item.
“On this occasion he appears to have jumped the gun somewhat,”
said Mr Elvey.
“In this garden was an old decrepit-looking lawn mower and because of its condition and age he assumed it was not wanted.
“He genuinely believed it was scrap but accepts that was not for him to decide.”
Magistrates fined McCarthy £200 and ordered he pay £85 costs and a £15 legal surcharge.
(Reproduced from South Wales Guardian, 4th Nov 2011)
Gardien Comment: Nice to see someone being caught and dealt with but it goes to show that any metal item is at risk these days. There is a range of security solutions available at www.garden-security.co.uk