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First prison sentences for illegal metal detecting
[h=2]From the SALon newsletter

For the first time in England, two metal-detector users have been given suspended custodial sentences and Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) for illegal metal-detecting activities on a protected site. Peter Cox, aged 69, and Darren West, aged 51, both from Northamptonshire, were sentenced by Northampton Crown Court on 19 December 2012 to one year’s imprisonment, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to stealing artefacts from and causing serious damage to a scheduled monument at Chester Farm, near Irchester in Northamptonshire.
[/h]The men were also sentenced to 150 hours of community service, a curfew, confiscation of their metal-detecting equipment and compensation for the damage caused to the scheduled monument. They were given Anti-Social Behaviour Orders that restrict their future use of metal-detecting equipment.

Northamptonshire Police launched an investigation after two English Heritage officers witnessed the two men metal detecting on the scheduled monument last July. Damage had also been caused to the scheduled monument by the excavation of trenches, which had been illegally dug in search of artefacts. A large quantity of Iron Age, Roman and medieval coins, metal artefacts and pottery, along with metal-detecting equipment and documents relating to the scheduled monument, were recovered when the police raided their homes.

Mike Harlow, Governance and Legal Director at English Heritage, said: ‘The sentence sets an important watershed in the combat against illegal metal detecting and acknowledges its true impact on society. These are not people enjoying a hobby or professionals carrying out a careful study. They are thieves using metal detectors like a burglar uses a jemmy. The material they are stealing belongs to the landowner and the history they are stealing belongs to all of us.’
[INDENT]Shiny assed county mounty, office lurker, coffee junkie and facebook scanner[/INDENT]
'bout time... :face-approve:
compensation for the damage caused to the scheduled monument! wonder what that was?
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
£750 according to the BBC article:
pdurdin Wrote:£750 according to the BBC article:
well if thats the going rate we can all have a go!
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
Quote:£750 according to the BBC article

I think the judge must have used BAJR's rates
Backfilling a few (probably small) holes and returfing doesn't cost much. What sort of compensation would be appropriate for the archaeology they may or may not have destroyed?

Perhaps they should be required to backfill large scale excavations by hand. Let the punishment fit the crime, etc!
Quote:I think the judge must have used BAJR's rates

I still operate in pennies and shillings ... 750 is a years wages shurely!

But it was as good as we were going to get.

the Metal DEtecting Asbo... lol!
I thought that there had been some other prison sentences given to metal detectorists in the past. Or is this just the first time someone from English Heritage has actually caught someone in the act of metal detecting on a SAM?
Pity that the sentence was suspended - i am sure that a proper custodial sentence would have sent a better message to those who may be involved in such activities. Maybe next time ?

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