Contractors jailed for stealing £1.5m of railway track

Grant Prior 12 years ago
Share

Five contractors who stole up to £1.5m of track and railway sleepers from Network Rail have been jailed for a total of 11 years 9 months.

Two other men were also given a total of 21 months suspended sentences for their involvement.

John Burtenshaw, Terence Doherty, Neil Jones, Stuart Amphlett, Nicky Halloran, Paul Tandon and Roy Skinner were sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday.

The court heard the gang stole materials during maintenance and upgrade work being carried out by Network Rail on the West Coast Mainline in and around Rugby.

Terry Doherty, a co-director of BRP (Rugby) Ltd – subcontracted by Jarvis to remove rail – conspired with Jarvis plant manager John Burtenshaw to steal rail and sleepers which should have been taken to authorised recyclers.

Doherty also conspired with Stuart Amphlett to steal rail from the Manchester Metrolink project.

A lengthy investigation carried out by British Transport Police revealed Doherty and Burtenshaw used their position, and others within the rail sub-contract industry, to steal up to 3,500 tonnes of rail worth up to £1.5m.

The actions of the group first came to the police’s attention in August 2008 when a scrap dealer check in Staffordshire revealed 208 tonnes of rail which was identified as having been removed from the Rugby upgrade project.

Police officers followed evidence trails which implicated Jones and Tandon (supervisors with Vital, but subcontracted to Jarvis), Halloran (a scrap metal recycler) and Amphlett, (a logistics manager with Carillion).

Detective Sergeant Chris Hearn said: “Using various techniques we were able to track the movement of some of the stolen rail to scrap dealers in Birmingham, Bedfordshire and Liverpool.

“Enquiries at these dealers revealed more than 500 tonnes of rail had been moved by the conspirators who were paid more than £71,500.

“Further investigation revealed a total of 3,500 tonnes of rail and other metal equipment from the Rugby project was unaccounted for, with a potential value of almost £1.5million.

“There is no doubt that the actions of this organised group deprived Network Rail and, in turn rail users across the country, of valuable finance which could have been put towards maintenance and improvements.

“This case clearly shows just how damaging metal theft is to communities and, particularly, to the rail industry. But it also demonstrates just how determined BTP is to tackle those who perceive the railway to be a soft target.”

Neil Henry, Network Rail’s head of operations and performance, said: “The value of the material stolen is wasted money as far as Network Rail is concerned. That’s £1.5m that could otherwise have been spent on additional passenger facilities at stations or perhaps invested in technology to improve reliability of the railway.

“I hope the sentences today make others stop and think before they consider stealing vital equipment from the railway.

“I also welcome the news of a thorough reform of the laws governing scrap metal dealers. Metal thieves directly cost the railway around £19million each year, with the knock on costs and disruption to the economy around the same amount again.

“Network Rail has taken extensive measures to protect our railway but we are simply managing to stem the tide. Reform that effectively takes away the illegal market in scrap metal, which includes an effective licensing regime and adequate power to police and magistrates, is sorely needed to help stamp out the misery caused by these thieves.”

Latest news

HS2 viaduct blunder over wonky concrete segments

Align JV now drilling out concrete joint as part of week-long remedial work
10 hours ago

City of London hots up as 9m sq ft under construction

Investors return to City as "10 Cheesgraters" of floorspace under construction
4 hours ago

Four arrested in £140m property fraud probe

Serious Fraud Office investigating collapse of property developer Signature Group
12 hours ago

London £3bn housing framework out to tender

SMEs allocated slots on London Construction Programme housing framework refresh
17 hours ago

BAM wins first major RAAC school rebuild

Contractor seals £46m deal for St Leonards school in Durham
18 hours ago

Failed strip out specialist owes £1.5m to supply chain

More than 100 subcontractors and suppliers left with unpaid bills by Type Ten Limited
19 hours ago

Councils to turn screw on building owners over fire safety upgrades

Government tells councils to step up legal action against rogue building owners
18 hours ago

Green light for £300m Fenland energy from waste scheme

Wisbech incinerator will generate 50MW from half a million tonnes of waste
1 day ago

Multiplex starts on 50-storey Thames tower

Developer green lights construction of latest phase of £3bn Bankside Yards scheme
2 days ago

McLaren lodges fresh Reading Broad Street Mall plan

Town centre scheme will deliver 600 homes in four towers
2 days ago

Beard bags £24.5m Bristol office revamp

Construction to start in April
18 hours ago

SMEs star in £3.2bn social housing upkeep deal

Around 85% of Efficiency North's framework winners are local firms
2 days ago

Scottish NHS new building projects delayed for two years

Spending clampdown hits over a dozen planned projects
2 days ago

Balfour M25 workers hold strike ballot

Motorway maintenance crews unhappy with 3.4% pay rise offer
2 days ago

Rainsford Contracts acquires M&E specialist

Expanded contractor will have turnover of £45m
2 days ago

Statom expands with launch of Northern HQ

RC frames specialist now targeting jobs in Scotland and north of England
2 days ago

High Court dismisses Stonehenge tunnel challenge

Judge quashes legal challenge against Government consent for £1.7bn job
2 days ago

£1.5bn Teesside carbon capture scheme consented

Final investment decision expected this year for construction start
3 days ago

First viaduct steel section installed at HS2’s complex junction job

Victor Buyck Steel Construction install first 300t viaduct section
3 days ago

Sister scaffold firms file administration notices

BCM Scaffolding Services and Scaffteq West employ 100 people between them
3 days ago

McLaughlin & Harvey suffers £8.6m loss

Cost inflation and Scottish landfill tax legislation hit Antrim-based group
3 days ago

Regulator opens probe into National Highways delivery

ORR concerned about 'dip in performance' on capital projects
3 days ago

Sir Robert McAlpine chief Paul Hamer exits

Hamer replaced as CEO by former Lendlease Europe boss Neil Martin
6 days ago

Unite Students to build £250m Newcastle scheme

Work to start this summer on revamp of Castle Leazes site
3 days ago

Britcon poaches Tilbury Douglas business development chief

Don Stewart joins Britcon board as strategic director
3 days ago

Building control system on verge of collapse

Calls to delay new registration scheme
6 days ago

Go-ahead for UK’s largest mass timber structure neighbourhood

Visionary 685-home sustainable village will be built in Lewes, East Sussex
6 days ago

£90m Manchester zig-zag library approved

Work to start this summer on iconic city centre building
6 days ago

Mace clear to start £34m weather-watching HQ job

Planning granted for European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
6 days ago

Ford Dagenham site revamp to hit nearly 4,000 homes

Latest phases approved for £1bn Beam Park redevelopment
6 days ago

Contractor services