Two men stole railway cabling from a South Yorkshire railway line causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage and delaying commuter trains by up to 10 hours.
Michael Manton, aged 46, and Terry Scott, 26, were jailed after Sheffield Crown Court heard they targeted the railway line at Thorpe Bank Road Crossing, near Stainborough, Barnsley, on two dates last September.
Brain Outhwaite, prosecuting, said they tried to steal 400 metres of cable on the first occasion.
He said: “It had been cut in several places and was clearly ready for removal from the locality by the offenders who must have been disturbed and made off.”
Mr Outhwaite said the total to replace the cabling was £11,409 and the crime had caused delays for commuter trains of nearly 10 hours.
The pair struck at the same location just a few days later .
Police found 350metres of cabling had been stolen – worth £6,741.
He said the estimated cost of the labour to repair the damage was £20,000.
The pair were caught when they went to a scrap yard in Doncaster and weighed in 120 kilos of cable and were paid £562.80.
“A relatively insignificant figure when considering what one gets out of the enterprise, compared to the cost of the damage caused,” Mr Outhwaite said.
Jesper Phillips, of British Transport Police, said: “Cable remains live when it’s cut and presents a very real risk to the health and safety of any persons who attend the scene, including Northern Rail staff, police and members of the public.”
Judge Alan Goldsack QC jailed Manton, of Station Road, Doncaster, for nine months and Scott, from Goole, for 18 months.