`

Church Warsop dog-walker used fracking firm’s devices as bait boxes

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court

A Church Warsop dog-walker who found scientific equipment belonging to a fracking company in a field, used two as bait boxes and sold the others on eBay for £30, a court heard.

Stephen Clarke stumbled across the four battery cases belonging to Ineos Upstream Services Ltd, in a field near his home, on January 11.

Prosecutor Neil Hollett said the cases, worth £724, were used to measure seismic activity.

Mark Stocks, mitigating, said: “He picked them up and took them home. His intention was to use the cases to store his fishing tackle and bits and pieces.

“He sold two on eBay for £15 apiece.

“There is nothing to suggest that they were part of this company’s scientific seismic research.”

He said the court should deal with Clark as a man of previous good character, who should receive credit for his early guilty plea.

“This was a theft by finding rather than theft,” Mr Stocks added.

Clarke, 56, of Grove Road, Church Warsop, admitted theft by finding, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Wednesday.

He was given a conditional discharge for six months and told to pay £100 compensation to the firm, as well as a £20 government surcharge