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Oldbury scrap man guilty of handling stolen beer kegs
4:39pm Wednesday 5th September 2012 in Local
A SUCCESSFUL Oldbury scrap metal dealer was caught with a load of valuable stolen stainless steel beer kegs with a replacement value of more than £64,000, a court heard.
Mark Lewis, who runs J and P Lewis Metals, Blakeley Hall Road, denied handling the stolen beer kegs, which had a scrap value of £12,000, but was found guilty by a jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
He was sentenced to 52 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 240 hours unpaid work in the community and to pay £4,482 costs.
Lewis, aged 52, of Plymouth Road, Barnt Green, was transporting the kegs in a skip to a recycling centre when he was stopped by police.
The offence dated back to the end of 2007 which was a time when the theft of beer kegs was prevalent.
Andrew Jackson, defending Lewis, who told the court he would pay the costs inside 28 days, said he had been in business upwards of 36 years "without a blemish to his name."
He said Lewis employed a large number of people who would suffer the consequences if he was sent to prison.
Lewis will have to return to the court to face a proceeds of crime hearing when assets could be seized.