A MAN aged 74 is among 12 people accused of being involved in a widespread stolen metal operation.
John Wilkinson, 74, of Sunnybank, Mirfield, is accused of offences relating to metal thefts.
The others are 10 men and one woman.
Police raided several addresses last month in connection with Operation Galton, a West Yorkshire police operation to crack down on stolen metal activity across the region.
Yesterday, the 12 defendants who are from Almondbury, Elland, Brighouse, Wakefield, Pontefract and Dewsbury appeared at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court.
The charges list Albert Haigh & Son scrapyard on Firth Street in Huddersfield, Top Vale Works on Colne Vale Road, Milnsbridge and JS Bamforth & Co Huddersfield as places where criminal property – namely BT copper cable – was attempted to be acquired or persons allegedly had it in their possession.
Linda Nee, of Saxton Place, Almondbury, was the only defendant who entered a plea. She denies 14 offences of attempting to conceal/disguise/convert/transfer criminal property from J S Bamforth & Co Huddersfield on dates between April 23 and August 21.
The other defendants who appeared in court on similar charges were Joe Ellis, 20, of Caldercroft, Elland; Paul Ellis, 41, of Henry Street, Brighouse; Tim Hartley, 48, of Bean Street, Upper Edge, Elland; Dannon John Wilkinson, of Sunnybank, Mirfield; John Griffiths, 43, of Mirfield; Kenneth Wilkinson, 67, of Quarry Road, Dewsbury; Philip Stanley, 46, of Lumb Lane, Liversedge; Tom Griffiths, 19, of Wakefield; Wayne Griffiths, 44, of Wakefield and Steven Hillias, 66, of Pontefract,.
District Judge District Judge Marie Mallon told the defendants in all cases: “I have heard about this case and this matter will have to go to the crown court but you will next appear for a committal hearing on January 7.”
All the accused were granted unconditional bail to next appear at Kirklees Magistrates at 2.30pm on January 7.