Dimitru, aged 21, of Bacchus Road, Winson Green, Birmingham, was finally arrested in June, when he pleaded guilty to the attempted theft.

Following an adjournment for a pre-sentence report, he was jailed for 12 months for that offence—with a further two-month term for failing to surrender to his bail.

The court heard that Motorail Logistics repair, refurbish and store railway rolling stock at what was formerly the MOD’s Central Engineer Park at Long Marston.

There had been a number of thefts from the site, and in the early hours of 3rd February 2013 the police were alerted to some suspicious activity.

Dimitru, Ion Ruset, Gheorghe Chilian and Ionut Crecea had scaled a fence and begun identifying lengths of copper cable to steal.

When officers arrived they found £3,000 worth of cable had been put to one side ready to be taken.

The four men fled, but were eventually found with the aid of the police helicopter and arrested.

In May last year Ruset, then 21, of Kentish Road, Handsworth, who was described as a ringleader, was jailed for 12 months.

Jailing Dimitru, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones said his role was equal to Ruset’s—but that his failure to attend court had to be dealt with by a consecutive sentence.