July 8, 2010 10.00 am This story is over 160 months old

Man who faced jail scarpers

Skiving jail: A man who refused to to unpaid work for his conviction failed to turn up for sentencing for a theft trial.

A man who “wilfully refused” to do unpaid work after being convicted of animal cruelty was warned he could face jail when he came back to court for sentencing — but he failed to turn up.

Paul Anthony McMahon appeared at Lincoln Magistrates Court on two new charges of theft of cabling and an antique fire grate, and he was in breach of the work order imposed last May.

Paul Wood, prosecuting, said the police were called to the defendant’s home after getting reports of a fire at the premises. “They found him burning off the plastic cover from electrical cabling,” Wood said.

There was a substantial quantity and a small drum of new cable which the police thought was too much so they searched his house. Several other items were found, including a fire grate.

McMahon said he found the cabling while walking on a footpath. He thought someone had stashed it there after taking it so he decided to take it and weigh it in for cash.

“The cast iron fire grate belonged to an antique dealer who had left it in her garden for transportation by someone else.”

A representative from the Probation Service said McMahon had been given unpaid work for 150 hours after being convicted of animal cruelty on May 25, but he refused to attend the first session in Lincoln because he has five children to look after.

McMahon (29), admitted theft of cabling on June 2, theft of the fire grate between May 26 and June 7, and he accepted he was in breach of the unpaid work order.

Ali Zaki, representing, said the theft of the grate was impulsive, the theft of cabling was theft by finding, and that McMahon prioritised looking after his children above doing the unpaid work.

Magistrates adjourned the case until later in the day for reports to be prepared, with a view to sending McMahon to jail for his “wilful refusal” to do the work.

McMahon failed to appear, and a warrant without bail was issued for his arrest.

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