Hartlepool lead thief refused to leave prison cell for court hearing

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A man who refused to leave his prison cell to come to court was convicted of stealing lead flashing.

Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court tried Reece Lewis in his absence after hearing he would not leave Holme House Prison to be brought to court.

Neil Taylor, who represented Lewis at an earlier hearing, said: “As I understand it he refused to get on the bus.”

Prosecutor David Wood said Lewis was captured on CCTV taking the lead from the roof of a bay window of a house in Park Road, Hartlepool.

“He was identified by a police officer who viewed the footage,” added Mr Wood.

“The cost of replacing the lead was £500.”

PCSO Graham Handley told the court he had seen Lewis ‘almost daily’ for several months.

“I am certain the images show Reece Lewis,” said PCSO Handley. “I also recognise a woman who he is with on some of the footage as a known associate of his.”

Lewis, 19, of Alderson Street, Hartlepool, denied theft at an earlier hearing.

He was not represented at his trial.

The magistrates found the case proved in his absence.

Sentence was adjourned to a date to be fixed.