Man `obsessed' with rubbish fined for Aitken papers theft
Tuesday 14 December 1999
During a number of night-time forays, Benjamin Pell, 35, who is said to suffer from an "obsession" with waste, packed his car with bin-liners left outside the central London offices of Harkavys. Disguised as a council cleaner, he left other bags in their place in a bid to escape detection, Blackfriars Crown Court in London was told. But staff became suspicious, set up a covert camera, caught him on film and contacted the police.
A search of his home inHendon, north London, found it full of bagged garbage.Among an estimated 200,000 documents was correspondence concerning the "personal and public difficulties" of Mr Aitken, who along with James Hewitt, was a client of the law firm.
The court heard that Pell, who admitted one count of theft last February, had been training to be a solicitor while indulging in his apparent need for garbage. Edward Brown, for the prosecution, said that papers were found at Pell's home relating to Mr Aitken's private, criminal and civil litigation, as well as matrimonial issues. Also found was a newspaper cutting, which showed that Pell was "interested" in the former minister. He said: "That information would have been valuable to somebody. There is no evidence that he sold the information to a publisher, but there is a very high likelihood that he would at least try."
Eamon Sherry, for the defence, said: "This is plainly a sad case because it is quite clear that Mr Pell has a debilitating illness and has plainly got an obsession with waste and rubbish."
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Britain First 'acting like Ukip henchmen' by invading meeting of activists in revenge for pub protest against Nigel Farage
- 3 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 4 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 5 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
Britain First 'acting like Ukip henchmen' by invading meeting of activists in revenge for pub protest against Nigel Farage
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...
£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...