A STRUCTURAL engineer has been fined after making off with ÂŁ7,000 worth of solar panels he thought were destined for the tip.
Marek Raul, of Northway in Orford, noticed the stack of panels at the rear of RAM Legal Services in Hallfields Road and believed that he could repurpose them.
He returned to take the panels home, not knowing that they were not in fact unfit for purpose, and he was subsequently charged with theft.
But after displaying âtrue remorseâ and an acceptance of his guilt at Warrington Magistratesâ Court on Friday, the 35-year-old was told that he would be punished by way of a fine rather than custody.
Holly Menary, prosecuting, told the court how Raul first noticed the solar panels in the rear yard of the Orford-based business while out jogging on July 15.
He returned later on to inspect them but left empty handed. He then returned for a third time in a black Mercedes, reversed into the yard, loaded the solar panels in the car and left with them.
The business informed the police and, after reviewing CCTV, officers were able to arrest Raul two weeks later at his home address.
During a police interview, he admitted taking the solar panels as he thought he could repurpose them as part of a project at home.
He apologised and said that his actions were âstupidâ. The solar panels were recovered and returned to the business.
RAM Legal Services in Hallfields Road (Image: Google Maps)
The court also heard how Raul pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, has no previous convictions and was previously of good character before this offence took place.
Representing himself, as he did not want to waste his own or taxpayerâs money, Raul said: âI am truly sorry, and I had no intention of harm.
âAt university, I studied the impact of waste on the environment. I do not like wasting material, but I made a mistake by taking them with intention of repurposing them.
âI fully admit what I did, have no excuses and I accept whatever punishment and consequence may follow.â
Before sentencing, chair magistrate Alan Davies said: âThank you for your honesty.
âYou are a man of previous good character, which has now gone, and you spoke eloquently about what you did.
âIt is clear that you have shown real remorse, and it is clear to us that because of your good character and because the panels were returned, we can deal with this by way of a financial penalty.â
Raul was fined a total of ÂŁ319 for his misdemeanour.