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Holywell man guilty of handling stolen railway collection

Published date: 21 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A MAN has been convicted for his involvement in handling about £3,000 worth of stolen model railway equipment.

At Wrexham Magistrates Court yesterday, a charge of burglary against 32-year-old Michael Craig Bedford, of Lon Goes, Holywell, was dismissed.

But he was found guilty of handling stolen goods.

The court heard the model railway equipment was a valuable collection belonging to James Hambleton of Holywell.

In a victim impact statement read to the court by Robert Blakemore of the Crown Prosecution Service, Mr Hambleton said: “I’m worried about the same thing happening again. I constantly check my yard. I never used to before.”

Mr Hambleton said it had taken him years to build up the collection of model railway items, which he had worked hard to collect.

In November at Flintshire Magistrates Court, 44-year-old Robert Piper of Glan yr Afon, New Brighton Road, Bagillt, admitted stealing the trains from Mr Hambleton’s property.

The goods were recovered after the police visited hobby shops and pawn shops.

It transpired he had sold them for £305 to a pawn shop in Deeside. CCTV footage from the business premises showed Piper had turned up to the store in a car owned by Bedford.

As part of talks with shop staff to negotiate a selling price, Piper had a phone conversation with Bedford.

Mr Blakemore told the court that during the phone call, Bedford showed detailed knowledge of what was being offered for sale.

But Bedford denied he had any involvement in the burglary or disposing of the goods.

Bedford claimed Piper had taken his car without consent when he had driven to the pawn shop. Bedford also denied knowing about the railway equipment in detail.

It was made clear to the court the pawn shop wasn’t aware the property which Piper offered for sale was stolen.

The case against Bedford has been adjourned to Monday January 27 for a probation report to be compiled.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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