TWO men who stole thousands of pounds worth of electrical transformers from the Tamura depot in Calne, have finally been sentenced in court.

John Lee, 41, of Bourne Lake Park, Cricklade pleaded guilty to two charges of handling stolen goods, possessing a £26,000 bank balance and acquiring £56,000 worth of bank deposits on August 8.

Craddoc Lee, 35, of Scallows Lane travellers site, West Wellow, Romsey, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods and using a tipper truck and crane for the theft of 56 electrical generators, worth £30,000, in November 2014.

As a result of the guilty pleas, John Lee was sentenced to two years imprisonment and is subject to ongoing seizures of property on August 10 and Craddoc Lee was sentenced to four months imprisonment suspended for two years, 200 hours of unpaid work and a night time curfew for five months.

Sentencing, Mr Recorder Taylor said: "Thanks to good old police work, the trail led to Bourne Lake travellers’ site where the stolen tipper truck and the 56 generators were recovered. I take the view the tipper truck was stolen in order to carry out the theft at Tamura.

"It would have been obvious that the lorry was stolen; it was not displaying any number plates, the signage had been obliterated and the engine had been hot-wired.

"When the police arrived, the engine was still running and it was in process of the of unloading the stolen generators and gas canisters. The value of lorry and generators had a combined value of £39,000.

"Subsequent investigations into Mr John Lee’s finances revealed a balance of £26,000 and deposits of over £55,000. Both of you denied the offences when interviewed.

"John Lee, you have a history of dishonesty; Craddoc Lee, you are more lightly convicted but have been proven to be dishonest in the past."

As well as discovering the generators, police also found 1,300 bottles of stolen wine and Prosecco, four stolen vehicles, gas cannisters, cash and fuel at a travellers site in Ashton Keynes.

Det Con Andy Henson said: "From November 2014 a team of detectives has been working on this case which, as it has developed, transpires to have involved a large amount of stolen goods and criminal activity.

"It is due to the hard work of everyone on the team that we have secured these convictions and subsequent sentencing results - which I welcome. Both men have been stopped from carrying out crimes for quite some time.

"I hope this result sends a message that crime does not pay and sooner or later we will catch anyone who indulges in such a lifestyle."