Jun 28 2011 by court reporter, Perthshire Advertiser Tuesday
THOUSANDS of BT customers could have had their phones cut off after a bogus workman tried to steal copper wire.
Dean Monaghan was dressed in a reflective jacket and trousers and had set up temporary roadwork signs and cones around a BT manhole near Blairgowrie.
But the police were alerted and Monaghan was arrested before the valuable copper wire could be removed.
Sheriff Michael Fletcher called for a background report on Monaghan yesterday before he is sentenced next month.
Monaghan admitted attempting to steal the cable from Coupar Angus Road, Blairgowrie, last November.
He had a not guilty plea to another charge of stealing a large quantity of cable from the same location on October 26 accepted by the Crown.
Depute fiscal Rebecca Kynaston told Perth Sheriff Court that police had been alerted to “suspicious activities” on the A923 at 3am that Thursday.
The caller was concerned that bogus workmen were operating on the stretch of Coupar Angus Road, near its junction with Muirfield Road.
A van was parked on the kerb and a BT manhole cover was open, exposing the cable.
Thirty-three-year-old Monaghan said he was working for a Bathgate firm who had been sub-contracted to BT to clean out the manholes.
But he was unable to provide any paperwork to back up that claim – or give any personal ID to officers.
Police saw two large cutters, a hacksaw and manhole removing tools nearby.
“There were a further two manhole covers on the same stretch of road which had been opened,” added Ms Kynaston.
The cables were live and connected to the telephone system.
If they had been removed phones in the Coupar Angus/Blairgowrie area would have been cut off.
Monaghan, of Louden Hill Drive, Glasgow, will discover his fate on July 27.
The prosecution accepted not guilty pleas from co-accused David Lorimer (28), of Eynort Street, Glasgow, to the two charges.