Man fined for failure to hand in phone

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A MAN who failed to hand in a lost mobile phone was arrested after lying to Wigan police officers about how it had come into his possession, a court heard.

Earlier this month Ryan Edwin Morris, of Leigh Road, Leigh, was taken into custody after being “evasive” when officers quizzed him about the Samsung handset, estimated to be worth about £200.

Officers stopped to talk to Morris, 30, and asked to look in his bag as he was acting suspiciously, the court was told. Morris said the phone belonged to his partner but was unable to unlock it using the security code.

He later changed his story to explain that the phone had been dropped by a motorcyclist and he had kept it so he could hand it in at a Virgin store to get a reward.

The court was told that Morris had a number of convictions on his record and already owed the court almost £1,000 relating to previous offences.

Colin Rawson, defending, said his client accepted that it was his public duty to have handed in the phone and had pleaded guilty.

He said: “It was through his own evasive behaviour when questioned about the phone that meant he was arrested.”

Morris was handed a Community Order for a period of nine months with a requirement to attend a Thinking Skills programme.

Presiding magistrate Melvyn Higson said: “We have decided to waive the court costs but you will pay a victim surcharge of £60. If you fail to pay these fines, do not expect further sympathy from this court.”