AN Amble man was found not guilty of the theft of a washing machine and bike after magistrates decided he had thought they were scrap.
South East Northumberland Magistrates Court heard how 33-year-old Paul Nyberg had taken the items from outside a property in Broomhill before taking them to be weighed in at a scrapyard in Blaydon.
Mr Nyberg admitted taking the items but for a theft charge, there needs to be proof that they were taken dishonestly.
Property owner William Evans had himself gone to the same scrapyard and spotted the bike, which belonged to his grandson, on the back of a van but couldn’t be certain it was the same one until he got home.
Mr Nyberg claimed that a woman had flagged him and his brother Adam down in Amble and told them about the items.
The washing machine was described as having plastic missing from the bottom while the bike had one wheel removed due to a puncture and a rusty chain. The victim claimed the items were left by the house, while Mr Nyberg said that they were on the path.
Steven Chambers, defending, said: “We’re not disputing these things are taken, it’s whether Mr Nyberg has been dishonest when taking them.”