BT home phone fiasco

BT Open Reach Engineer Gary Phillipson at the joint box on Middleton Road where a copper mains cable was cut and stolen.
BT Open Reach Engineer Gary Phillipson at the joint box on Middleton Road where a copper mains cable was cut and stolen.

HUNDREDS of people were left without a telephone or internet access after thieves stole 165 metres of phone cable from under the ground.

The theft had dire consequences as a pensioner who was assaulted outside his house was unable to call police.

Thieves took cabling worth approximately £5,000 after lifting manhole covers on Middleton Road between 9pm and 11.30pm last Thursday, September 15, to get at the valuable metal.

Villagers in Overton and Sunderland Point lost their connection to the network as a result of the thefts.

A 71-year-old man who was assaulted at his home at 11pm on Saturday night, told The Visitor: “I was in bed watching Match of the Day when a man came to the door asking me to sign a petition to start a paper round.

“He was spaced out on drugs and I told him to go away. He started swearing at me and getting abusive so I backed him down the drive.”

The man, who did not want to be named, added: “He smacked me on the side of my face and knocked my glasses off. The telephone line was dead and my mobile wasn’t charged so I couldn’t call police.

“I woke up in the morning with blood on my pillow and realised I had a cut behind my ear.”

Sgt Dave Forshaw from Morecambe police said: “The investigation into this crime was hindered because the elderly victim wasn’t able to call for help.

“The thieves have absolute callous disregard for other people’s safety and indeed their own. It could have had life threatening consequences.”

See The Visitor (21-09-11) for full story.