Two men in the Cotswolds have admitted to stealing metal gates and fencing from a farm in Evesham for their scrap metal business.

The Cotswold Journal reports that Rocky Smith and Richard Rusher admitted to taking the items, including cattle herders and ring feeders, which had a total value of around £1,835.

CCTV footage showed Mr Smith's van carrying the metal gates and other items, which the pair claim they thought had been abandoned.

"Clearly they should have made some enquiries with the farmer. They do not accept stealing the two large feeders," the newspaper reports Mark Sheward, defending, as saying.

It follows news that historic plaques at York Minster have also been targeted by metal thieves, with the estimated cost of replacement standing at more than £7,000 in total.

York Civic Trust described the thefts as "disgraceful" and a "tragedy". One of the plaques depicted the crowning of the Roman Emperor Constantine in York in the fourth century.

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