South West Wales

Dealer 'crushed Pontardulais band's stolen instruments'

A scrap metal dealer paid burglars £61 for £15,000 worth of stolen musical instruments before crushing them, a court has been told.

Marcus Egan denies handling stolen goods after the theft from Pontardulais Town Band, near Swansea,.

Three men have since admitted burglary, Swansea Crown Court was told.

The instruments, including a tuba and large gong, were taken to Egan Metals in Gorseinon, the court heard. The case continues.

It is alleged that Mr Egan, 34, was told about the theft from the band.

The prosecution said that a short time later the band's chairman phoned Mr Egan, asking him to look out for the instruments.

The court heard that CCTV seized from the Mr Egan's company showed him instructing an employee to put them in the crusher.

Police activity

Paul Hobson, for the prosecution, said: "The defendant went on to pay scrap prices - £61, a tiny fraction of the real value of these items.

"If the defendant didn't know the instruments were stolen when the men turned up, he did after the phone call.

"The prosecution case is that he acted dishonestly that day."

Nigel Buist, chairman of the Pontardulais Town Band, told the court that he saw police activity at the band hall on the day of the break-in and went to see what was happening:

"I discovered that the exit door had been pulled off," Mr Buist told the jury

"It was evident a lot of the percussion instruments had gone.

"Christmas gifts for the children had also been taken."

Mr Buist immediately started making phone calls to local scrap merchants, and called Egan Metal.

"I explained that there had been a break-in to the band room.

"I left him my mobile phone number and asked him to contact me if he had any information."

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