A MAN has been convicted of handling model trains stolen from a neighbour’s shed.
Michael Bedford, 32, was cleared of the burglary when model trains valued at more than £3,000 were taken. But he was convicted of facilitating the disposal of stolen goods after a court heard how another man, who had admitted the burglary, took the stolen items to a pawn shop in Bedford’s car.
Bedford, of Moorfields, Holywell, had also spoken on the telephone to staff at the shop in a bid to get a better price, explained prosecutor Robert Blakemore.
He told Flintshire Magistrates Court they were not ordinary model trains.
Some of the trains were individually valued at £1,000 and the owner had set up a track running around the back garden.
But he returned home on October 4 to find that the back fence and the track was damaged and the shed had been forced open.
Train sets had been stolen from inside.
Checks of hobby shops and pawn shops led police to view CCTV film at a Deeside pawn shop, showing the face of a man who had tried to sell the trains for £1,000 but who eventually agreed to sell them for £305. The stolen items had been recovered and returned to the owner.
Bedford denied burglary and handling stolen goods but was convicted of the handling charge.
He was placed on a 12 month community order with a 7pm to 7am curfew.
Stephen Mullarkey, defending, said Bedford denied being involved.
He lived with his partner and two daughters and had health issues.
Magistrates were told he had suffered from depression since the age of 15 when his sister died in a house fire, which had affected him long term.
Another man – Robert Piper, of Glan yr Afon, New Brighton Road, Bagillt – previously admitted entering the shed at the rear of a house in Lon Goes, Holywell, and stealing the trains.
Piper, 44, was earlier ordered to pay £305 compensation to the pawn shop and was placed on a 12 month community order.