Glasgow & West Scotland

Electric shock metal thief William Durnan given community sentence

A metal thief who was seriously injured after sawing through a cable carrying 11,000 volts has been ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work.

William Durnan, 44, cut power to half of Johnstone town centre, after targeting a junction box in the Renfrewshire town on 19 August 2013.

He was given a community payback order after admitting the botched theft.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard how Durnan was left "looking like the professor from the Back To The Future movie".

Previously, the court heard how Durnan had tried to remove cable from a junction box that was situated beside a disused farmhouse in the town's Barochan Road.

Blast noise

There was an explosion as he sawed through the cable at about 06:50.

The noise woke local residents and cut power to half of Johnstone town centre.

Despite being severely injured, Durnan managed to go to a nearby house for help and was unable to talk.

The emergency services were alerted and he was rushed to Paisley's Royal Alexandra Hospital and later transferred to a specialist burns unit at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Following a previous court appearance last year, Durnan, from Dalry, North Ayrshire, conceded he had been lucky to survive.

Pulling a portion of the bandage back to reveal heavy tissue scarring, he said: "My arm melted. I had to get plastic surgery."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites