Four men from Nuneaton have been sentenced to a total of more than ten years in prison for stealing electrical cable from railway lines.Dominic Wallis, Flame Redshaw, George Brunozzi-Jones and John Gowland, all from Nuneaton, committed a total of thirty thefts from tracks around the town between 2010 and 2011.They were handed sentences at the Warwickshire Justice Centre in Royal Leamington Spa today ranging from nineteen months for Wallis to three years each for Redshaw and Brunozzi-Jones and three and a half years for Gowland.

"Metal theft we all know is rife, the cost to the railway system is very substantial and the interference raises serious safety issues for passengers"

Trespassing on railway lines, the men would use a petrol driven circular saw to remove sections of the cable - sometimes a hundred metres at a time - then sell it to local scrap dealers.They were caught in the act on CCTV. British Transport Police also used a product called Smartwater to coat sections of the cable. The water contains a unique DNA code which was later found on the men's clothing and the saw they used.Network Rail calculate theft of this kind has cost more than £61 million over the past four years, and caused more than 1.3 million minutes of delays to the travelling public.