Taking bag of copper from roadside costs man dearly

WHEN Darrell Ashton stumbled upon a sack on the side of the road in Yarwun, he thought he had found the end of the rainbow.

But instead, the hessian sack, which was full of cut-up copper, ended up costing him more than double its worth.

He faced Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday and was fined $1200 and had a criminal conviction recorded.

The court heard that Ashton, who was walking his dog on Calliope River Rd on October 28 last year, had hastily taken the bag of copper and stowed it in his white Holden Colorado ute.

"I thought no one owned it, so I took it," he said. "I had bills to pay."

A few days later, Ashton presented the sack to One Steel Recyclers.

But the chopped-up metal, estimated to be worth $600, immediately aroused the suspicions of employees, who refused to buy it off him.

An employee alerted police about the copper they believed to be stolen.

On November 6, in a recorded interview at Gladstone police station, Ashton claimed he knew the metal was of high quality and was probably stolen.

Magistrate Penelope Hay yesterday told the defendant it was the realisation he was tampering with stolen goods that was his undoing.

Ironically, Ashton ended up at Benaraby landfill, where he paid to have the sack taken off his hands.

The 43-year-old also copped a six-month licence disqualification after he was caught driving without a licence on November 31.


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