A man who fell about 50 feet after trying to steal cable from a Metrolink stop in Trafford has been jailed.
John Daw (born 12/05/1971) of Carmel Avenue, Ordsall, Salford, pleaded guilty to attempted theft at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square, at an earlier hearing.
Today, 3 January 2013, he was sentenced to two years and nine months in jail. The total term of imprisonment takes into account other offences Daw also pleaded guilty to.
Between 2am and 3am on 9 May 2012, Daw and another man, who has not been identified, tried to cut the fibre optic cables on the track around the Cornbrook Metrolink Station in an aborted attempt to steal the metal.
However, they were disturbed by staff and ran off. Daw tried to escape by climbing over the viaduct wall, but fell up to 50 feet onto waste land under the viaduct and between the railway link and the Metrolink track, fracturing his skull, pelvis and right leg.
Firefighters had to break open a steel door to gain access to the arches to rescue him.
His actions brought the Metrolink to a halt, causing services on the Eccles, Altrincham, MediaCity UK and south Manchester line to be suspended for several hours.
The damage also affected public address systems at other stops, meaning officials could not inform frustrated passengers of the reason of what was happening.
Bosses at Transport for Greater Manchester also had to put on replacement bus services, and Daw's actions cost TfGM thousands of pounds in lost revenue. They also had to pay engineers who spent hours fixing the damage.
John Woods, from Greater Manchester Police's Operation Alloy taskforce which was set up to tackle metal theft, said: "This incident dramatically highlights the very real dangers of metal theft, not just to the culprits themselves but also to businesses and the wider public whom are often the 'forgotten victims' of this sort of crime.
"In attempting to steal cables from a live railway track, Daw risked his own life before nearly killing himself after falling 50 feet trying to escape. Now that he has been convicted, I would hope he is rueing the day he ever get involved.
"His actions caused several hours of very frustrating delays for passengers and when you factor in the lost revenue from commuters and the repairs to the track itself, the cost of Daw's actions runs into hundreds of thousands and all for just a few moments of sheer recklessness.
"Metal theft is a problem we are making huge strides towards tackling and incidents of this sort of opportunistic crime are decreasing. However, as this incident shows it only takes one incident to cause all sorts of chaos, not to mention putting people's lives at risk, which is why Greater Manchester Police will continue to bring offenders like Daw to justice."