Stolen phone ‘too much of a bargain’


A STOLEN phone that was “too much of a bargain” landed a South Tyneside man with a court bill.

Police found the Sony Xperia mobile phone and a quantity of cannabis during a swoop at Wayne Cummings’ home in Stanhope Road, South Shields.

The 40-year-old had bought the phone – valued at £400 – for a quarter of its value, and admitted he was “suspicious” it was stolen.

Cummings pleaded guilty to possessing a Class B drug and receiving stolen goods at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “A warrant was executed at the defendant’s address in Stanhope Road on March 14.

“Cannabis bush and a Sony Xperia mobile phone were recovered.

“He was arrested, and further inquiries found the phone had been lost on March 7.

“He said the cannabis was just a few crumbs at the bottom of a tin worth about £3 and admitted possession of it.

“He said he bought the phone from a drug addict for £100, and it had been blocked.

“That made him a little bit suspicious.”

Valerie Bell, defending, said: “He fully admitted the cannabis was his to police.

“The phone was too much of a bargain. He was suspicious, and it turns out it was stolen.

“He fully admitted being guilty of handling stolen goods.

“He should be given full credit for his guilty pleas.”

Lorraine Montgomery, chairman of the magistrates, said: “The most serious offence is you bought a phone with a good idea the seller had not got it legitimately, and it deprived someone else of their phone.”

Cummings was fined £65 for handling stolen goods, and ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £20.

He was given no separate penalty for the drug possession.