Addict jailed after stealing from church’s OAP lunch fund

| September 23, 2009

A HEROIN addict tricked his way into a neighbour’s house by telling her he needed to wait for his wife to come home before stealing her purse, a court was told.

Luke Herbert-Carter then used the 58-year-old’s bank card to steal £200 from her account.

In a separate incident, he stole a cashbox from St Wulstan’s Church in Worcester and the mobile phone of a woman who was cooking pensioners’ lunches at the venue, said Mary Wallace, prosecuting.

Herbert-Carter, aged 21, of Brookthorpe Close, Worcester, pleaded guilty to burglary, theft and attempted theft and asked for two more thefts to be taken into consideration.

Jailing him for three years, Judge Andrew Plunkett said he targeted older and more vulnerable people with “mean” offences. At the church, his victim was someone “working to alleviate the hardship of others”.

Herbert-Carter met a neighbour who knew him after she returned from shopping on May 20. He claimed his wife had gone out and he couldn’t get into his home.

The neighbour made him a drink and he stayed for 30 minutes before stealing her purse which contained her bank pin number, bank card and £10, Worcester Crown Court heard.

He was caught on CCTV using her card outside Tesco Express. A third attempt to obtain cash from her account was rejected.

A month earlier Herbert-Carter went to the church and was seen hanging about for half an hour. He asked about service times and pretended to look at posters. Then he stole the cashbox for the OAP lunches.

His wife found the cashbox at home and he confessed to stealing it from a church.

Defence counsel Charles Hamer said Herbert-Carter’s dishonest behaviour had deteriorated over the past two years due to heroin.

He said the woman who took him in knew he had a criminal record. It was an amateurish crime and he realised he would be found out.

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Category: Church Security

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