Stolen £1,600 lamp part scrapped for £12.50

Mark Harrison

Mark Harrison

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A MAN took part of a £1,600 stolen antique lamp to be weighed in at a scrapyard – in return for a £2.50 bag of heroin.

Mark Stanley Harrison took the top of the ornamental brass light, which had been stolen from a house in Elwick Road, Hartlepool, to a town scrap merchant.

The 34-year-old told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court that he had been offered heroin in exchange for weighing in the stolen lamp by a man in the street who he didn’t know.

The scrap dealer gave him just £12.50 for the metal, which Harrison then handed over to the dealer in return for a £2.50 bag of heroin.

But Harrison’s game was up when officers’ inquiries led them to the scrapyard, and documents confirmed the crook had done business there.

Prosecuting, Lorraine Cooper said: “The circumstances of this offence are that the complainant lives in Elwick Road and there are two large antique brass lamps on each side of the front of the house, Victoria and Albert brass lamps.

“The owner returned to his house and he noticed that the top of one of the lamps was missing.

“Inquiries were made and the item was recovered from a scrapyard, and the books at the scrapyard confirmed that the defendant had attended and obtained £12.50 for the scrap being weighed in.

“The item was recovered and returned to the owner.”

She added: “The defendant told police that he was walking along a street in Belle Vue when he was approached by an unknown male who asked him to weigh something in at the scrapyard because he was barred out.

“Harrison said he didn’t ask questions about where it was from, but arranged to be paid in heroin for it.”

Harrison, of Baden Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods, namely the ornamental brass light worth between £1,200 and £1,600, between September 14-15.

He also admitted stealing £107 worth of chocolate from Tesco on September 3, and failing to attend a drug assessment on September 5.

Mitigating, David Smith said his client did not steal the lamp but accepted, however, that without handlers there would be no thieves.

“The lamp was recovered and returned to its owner in exactly the same state it was taken.

“He made very little gain from this.”

Chairman of the bench Nigel Guerin sentenced Harrison to a 12-month community order with supervision.