Thief claimed he was taking dog for a walk

A MAN claimed he had simply been taking his dog for a walk after being caught stripping copper piping from an empty restaurant, a court heard. Dean Lee, 26, was found by police at the former Little Chef restaurant at Tollbar, near Sawtry, on March 14 this

A MAN claimed he had simply been taking his dog for a walk after being caught stripping copper piping from an empty restaurant, a court heard.

Dean Lee, 26, was found by police at the former Little Chef restaurant at Tollbar, near Sawtry, on March 14 this year.

Prosecutor John Nooijen said officers had become suspicious of a car parked next to the closed restaurant at about 7pm.

Mr Nooijen said: "When confronted by the police officers, the defendant claimed that he had been taking his dog for a walk and it had run off.


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"However, on further investigation officers found that the side door to the restaurant had been forced and several pieces of copper piping had been cut from the boiler room."

At Huntingdon Magistrates' Court last week, Lee pleaded guilty to going equipped to commit burglary.

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David Potter, mitigating, told the court Lee was out of work and was looking for any unused wood or metal he might be able to sell to support his young family.

Mr Potter said Lee's story of taking his dog for a walk was a "crass excuse".

Lee, formerly of Sawtry but now of Sheepwalk, Peterborough, was on licence at the time of the offence, having been released early from a 15-month prison sentence for affray. He was given 60 hours community service and ordered him to pay £60 prosecution costs.

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