Man sold stolen engines

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A MAN who sold two miniature trains within hours of them being stolen has been jailed for a year.

Richard Whitfield offered the trains, worth about £9,500, to a specialist collector for just £1,000 on the morning after they were taken from the premises of the Melton District Model Engineering Society, based at Whissendine Sports Club.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court on Wednesday that the items were taken on the evening of September 16 after a shed belonging to the society was forced.

Whitfield’s offer was initially rejected by the collector and he ended up selling them for £575. But later the buyer learned of the thefts from a trade magazine and contacted police.

Whitfield, 29, of The Grove, Grantham, admitted handling stolen goods on September 17.

The court was told he has convictions for 77 previous offences including more than 30 for dishonesty matters.

Judge Michael Heath said: “You have a dreadful record of dishonesty. There can be no other sentence for this than custody.”

Noel Philo, mitigating, said Whitfield had no idea of the value of the items.