Harwich: Rail Criminal's Suspended Term

An Essex man has received a suspended jail sentence after admitting the theft of 60 sleepers.

Five railway industry workers, including one from Essex, have been jailed for their parts in the theft of track and other materials worth up to £1.5 million which affected a line around Rugby.

The "industrial scale" thefts from Network Rail projects, including an upgrade of the West Coast Main Line in the Rugby area, saw lorry-loads of used rails diverted to unauthorised scrapyards.

A judge at Birmingham Crown Court jailed John Burtenshaw, 53, Terence Doherty, 48, Stuart Amphlett, 33, Paul Tandon, 47, and 41-year-old Neil Jones for conspiracy to steal.

Two other men - Nicky Halloran, 27, and 43-year-old Roy Skinner - were given suspended sentences after admitting respective charges of conspiracy to steal and theft.

Skinner, of Gordon Road, Harwich, was sentenced to nine months, suspended for 18 months and given 200 hours of unpaid work, having admitted the theft of 60 sleepers, and Halloran, of Hill Top, West Bromwich, admitted conspiracy to steal from the West Coast Main Line and was sentenced to 12 months' jail, suspended for 18 months.

Burtenshaw, of Fenny Road, Stoke Hammond, Buckinghamshire, was jailed for two years and nine months, having admitted conspiracy to steal from the West Coast Main Line.

Jones, of Bradshaw Avenue, Darlaston, West Midlands, was found guilty of conspiracy to steal from the West Coast Main Line and was sentenced to 21 months.

Tandon, of Curbar Road, Great Barr, West Midlands, was sentenced to 18 months, having admitted conspiracy to steal from the West Coast Main Line, and Amphlett, of Wychbold Crescent, Kitts Green, Birmingham, was sentenced to 18 months, having admitted conspiracy to steal.

Doherty, of Rushton Close, Burtonwood, Warrington, admitted conspiracy to steal from the West Coast Main Line and Manchester Metrolink and was sentenced to two years and six months' imprisonment.

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