A GANG of burglars were branded ‘incompetent chancers’ by a judge.
Two men had broken into an electricity substation which provided power for much of Wrexham.
It was dangerous because there was live power in the building.
One of three men later burgled the Remploy factory under demolition.
John Clutton, 49, of Rockwood Road, Brynteg, who was on bail for the first burglary when he committed the second, admitted both offences and was jailed for a year.
Mark Beesley, 35, of Plas Isaf, Rhosymedre, admitted breaking into the power station and was jailed for six months.
Paul Evans, 46, of Galaxy Grove, Brynteg, who admitted the Remploy burglary, received seven months.
Allen Crossley, 42, of New Road, Southsea, was given a six-month suspended prison sentence with 200 hours’ unpaid work for the Remploy burglary.
Judge Philip Hughes, sitting at Mold Crown Court, said: “It seems to me you are just a group of incompetent chancers.”
The burglary at the ScottishPower Legacy power station occurred in November. Damage was caused and there was a spill of hazardous oil which cost £3,000 to be cleaned up by a specialist company.
Torchlight on a disused rail line and woods near the power station alerted the police.
Prosecutor Emmalyne Downing said the Legacy power station provided “most of Wrexham’s power”.
On November 5 police spotted the torch lights of John Clutton and Mark Beesley and could hear scraping on the ground.
Both men were challenged and Clutton dropped some armoured cabling. Metal isolators and a heavy transformer were discovered “camouflaged” on the ground
On April 12 police were again altered that someone had been seen on a railway line near the disused and partly demolished Remploy factory in Wrexham.
Police saw a hole in the perimeter fence and spotted Paul Evans who dropped some stolen wire and ran off.
Inside the factory, police dogs tracked down John Clutton and Allen Crossley into the warehouse.
Steven Edwards, for Clutton, said his father had Alzheimer’s and cancer. His sister had been caring for him, but it was planned that Clutton would go to live with his father.
Judge Philip Hughes said although he sympathised with the family, Clutton should have considered that before committing burglary.
Mr Edwards said Clutton had been in financial difficulties and was simply looking for scrap.