Burglary by trio of village church

St Martin's church
St Martin's church

A SCARBOROUGH man who was part of team who crowbarred their way into a parish church has been jailed.

York Crown Court was told how three men spent more than 20 minutes jemmying their way into st Martin’s Church, in Seamer, on February 1.

They tried all three doors into the premises before finally gaining entry.

Stolen from the church by Mark Williams, 26, and the others were the tools of workmen employed in doing restoration work.

The police recovered several of them from the close vicinity, but failed to find a £300 electric drill.

Williams, formerly of Market Way and said to be on the verge of moving in to a property with his girlfriend in St Leonard’s Street, had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to the burglary, but failed to turn up before the court for sentencing in August,

York Crown Court was told that Williams, who also admitted the theft of a car and other property from a driveway in the Scarborough area, admitted breaching his bail by failing to attend before the crown court.

Adam Beaumont, prosecuting, said that the theft charge related to an old vehicle and scrap metal in a trailer, Williams and another man taking it off the driveway on January 11, this year, having previously asked if they could take it and being refused.

He added that the burglary at the church, committed by Williams on bail for the theft, was discovered by the vicar and her husband and that local police were able to identify all the perpatrators from CCTV recordings.

Williams was said to have 21 previous convictions for 27 offences on his criminal record and, at the time of the latest offences, to have been in breach of a community order.

Taryn Turner, mitigating, said that her client had been through the break down of a relationship and had medical issues of a personal nature.

She said that at the time he failed to turn up at court Williams had been unable to cope with the pressures on him.

Mrs Turner said that he was now wishing to move his life on.

Jailing Williams for six months, the recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, said that despite his early admissions he could not ignore the fact that the offences had been committed in breach of a court order, and some while on bail.

Two other men charged with the burglary of the church were sentenced on August 31, one being jailed and the other receiving a suspended prison sentence.