Drug user who stole lead from roof of boarded up Wisbech bungalow in “petty theft” jailed

STEALING lead from the roof of a boarded up bungalow landed drug user James McGuire with a jail sentence.

The property in Sandyland, Wisbech, had been surrounded by barbed wire and steel fencing – but McGuire had cleared away some of the security measures before climbing on the roof and rolling up the lead flashing.

Police were alerted and McGuire was found hiding in bushes with a roll of lead nearby.

McGuire, 26, of Sefton Avenue, Wisbech, had been found guilty of stealing �284 worth of lead on June 4 at a trial in his absence earlier this year.

He had admitted possessing heroin, cannabis and subutex on April 30 and failing to attend court for his trial.

Prosecuting at Fenland Magistrates’ Court, Andrea Fawcett said McGuire was followed to a block of flats by police on April 30 and was found hiding in a wardrobe.

Heroin, cocaine and fragments of subutex tablets were found, and McGuire admitted he had just bought the heroin. He had been spending �10 to �30 a week on drugs.

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The bungalow where McGuire stole the lead had been surrounded by steel fencing and barbed wire, it had been unoccupied for 20 years and the windows were boarded up.

Some barbed wire had been removed from the wall, said prosecutor Andrea Fawcett, and police received information that two men were on its roof on June 4.

When arrested, McGuire had said: “It’s not a major crime; it is just a petty theft.” It will cost �800 to repair the roof.

McGuire was jailed for a total of 26 weeks and the court ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs.