Lead thefts blighting city says judge

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A SHEFFIELD judge says “scarcely a day goes by” without a home or business in the city being targeted by lead thieves.

Judge Robert Moore, sitting at Sheffield Crown Court, spoke out as he sentenced teenagers Kyle Kent and Mathew Bonsall for lead theft and destroying or damaging property.

Kent, aged 19, of Monteney Crescent, Ecclesfield and Bonsall, also 19, of Vikinglea Road, Castlebeck, admitted both offences and were sent to a young offenders’ institution for eight months.

Bonsall was also sentenced to an additional two months for committing the offences while he was subject to a community order for burglary and theft.

The order was revoked and replaced with an additional two-month sentence – meaning he will be locked up for a total of 12 months.

Judge Moore told the court: “Scarcely a day goes by in this city before the owner of a house, a business or a church wakes up to find the lead has gone from their roof.

“The scrap metal value of the lead is driving these offences.”

He told Kent and Bonsall: “You were scouring the city looking for accessible lead to steal” and added that their offending was “so serious” only a custodial sentence could be justified.