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Jury convicts man of bid to steal metal worth thousands
11:00am Saturday 28th September 2013 in News
A JURY has found a 43-year-old man guilty of trying to steal thousands of pounds worth of steel from a company.
Andrew Fitzsimons, of St James Cottages, Grove, near Wantage, was convicted on one count of burglary at Field Barn Farm, near Abingdon, on May 14 last year.
He tried to steal between £10,000 and £15,000 of stainless steel from Caribbean Cookers, together with at least one other person who is still at large.
Yesterday, a jury of eight women and four men took seven hours and 14 minutes to reach a majority guilty verdict, by a margin of 10 to two.
Fitzsimons was bitten by a police dog after he was found hiding in a bush early in the morning near the scene of the burglary.
He told the jury at Oxford Crown Court that he had only been at the site because he owned property there and had seen lights as he drove home.
He claimed he ran away when men with metal poles approached him, and hid until the police dog found him.
But Simon Ward, prosecuting, told the jury yesterday that Fitzsimons’ description of jumping out of his car to escape the men did not make sense. He said: “You would lock the door, start the engine and reverse out the way that you came in.”
Fitzsimons was released on unconditional bail to be sentenced on October 22.