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John Moseley of South Oxhey admits handling stolen rail cable
A South Oxhey man has appeared in court for storing stolen railway cable in his back garden after transport police found a polo shirt with his DNA at the scene of a theft.
John Moseley, 36, appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to handling stolen goods.
The court heard that on September 26, 2011, British Transport Police officers were called to Croxley Common Moor after a member of the public reported finding railway cable.
Officers discovered between 15 and 20 metres of stripped cable and a polo shirt, which was shown to have DNA matching Moseley after forensic examination.
Moseley was then arrested at his home, in Heysham Drive, on January 18 last year.
During a search of his property officers found a large quantity of cable sheathing in his back garden, which appeared almost identical to that found at Croxley Common Moor.
They also found part of a wooden drum which is used to transport industrial cable.
On Friday Moseley was sentenced to 28 days in prison suspended until November 25.
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable Christopher Cammack, the investigating officer, said: "Theft of cable can have a huge impact on the running of the rail network and thousands of passengers are inconvenienced by it every year.
"There is a common assumption that cable theft is a victimless crime, with the only effects being felt by the railway industry. This is not the case.
"Stealing railway cable is incredibly dangerous. Thieves risk not only a prison sentence but also serious injury and death through electrocution."