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Mobile phone thieves could face up to five years in jail, following a ruling by a senior judge yesterday.

Lord Woolf said that thieves who targeted mobiles would be "punished severely" and could expect custodial sentences for their crimes.

The senior judge was speaking at London's Old Bailey after increasing the sentences on two mobile phone thieves.

A Government report this month estimated that 700,000 mobile phones were nicked each year in the UK. And it warned that school kids were five times more likely to be victims of mobile phone thefts than adults.

A Modest Proposal

No doubt such terrifying research as this prompted the increased punishment for this modern crime wave.

However, El Reg thinks the Government has missed a trick here.

Last week it pledged £7.4 million to examine whether mobile phones pose a health risk.

The cash will be used to fund projects to find out, once and for all, whether radiation from handsets fries the brain.

Surely, though, those convicted of mobile phone theft could be used in the experiments to test the effects of radiation - especially since they seem so keen their hands on mobile phones*.

And if the Government took up this hands-free kit offer then it could also slash the cost of the research. ®

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