AN UNDERCOVER police officer posing as a thief secretly filmed a scrap metal dealer buying over 300 kilograms of "stolen" copper, a jury was told on Wednesday.
The footage shown to the jury at Croydon Crown Court shows Joseph Collier buying eight rolls of pure copper, stamped UK Power Network from the undercover officer, identified only as Paul, earlier this year.
Collier, of Woodhall Drive in Dulwich, denies knowing the rolls were supposedly stolen.
The 72-year-old is also charged with possessing and disguising criminal property in the form of memorial plaques and handling a stolen statue of a dragon.
The memorial plaques were allegedly taken from graves at Croydon Cemetery, among others. He denies all the charges.
The footage was secretly filmed by Paul on three visits to DSM scrap metal merchants in Bensham Lane, in March this year.
For the visits, he posed as someone trying to get rid of stolen copper cables.
The supposedly stolen goods were supplied to the police legally.
Footage filmed on March 19 and 22 shows Paul selling Collier copper and aluminium cables and pipes, but on these visits he does not tell Collier the cabling is stolen.
On March 27, Paul returned to DSM at around 10am with two large rolls of red cable, eight rolls of pure copper stamped UK Power Network and some thin, tangled orange cabling.
The footage shows Paul and a DSM employee unload all the cabling from the van and place it on the scales. Collier then comes over to weigh the metal before going into his office with Paul to write a £1,134 cheque for the 324 kilogram delivery.
As Collier writes Paul the cheque, the footage shows Paul say: "Just so you know, it's got UK f****** power cables stamped on the f****** side, you may not want to hang on to it for too long."
Giving evidence, Paul said: "I was suggesting it was obviously stolen and he knows to get rid of it as soon as possible."
Paul agreed with the defence that Collier did not respond to this statement.
Defending, James Martin said that Paul said UK power cable, not UK Power Network, which Paul confirmed had been an error at the time.
Mr Martin said: "Even if he did hear you and understand what you were saying you're just saying there is some sort of ownership stamp on the side."
The footage also shows Paul ask Collier to pay him in cash for the goods, which is illegal. Collier is shown refusing each time.
The case continues.