Drug addict stole from vulnerable churches to feed his habit

| July 12, 2010

A HEROIN addict carried out a campaign of burglaries targeting churches across Lincolnshire and Leicestershire to feed his drug habit, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

James Taylor toured the countryside with his partner before selecting his targets hitting vulnerable rural churches.

Rob Townsend, prosecuting, said Taylor stole safes from St Swithin's Church at Long Bennington and from St Nicholas Church at Barkston.

The haul included not only cash and silverware but also irreplaceable original parish registers detailing births, marriages and deaths that had taken place in the villages over the centuries.

The parish registers were later recovered but cash and silver plates and candlesticks are still missing.

In all Taylor broke into almost 20 churches before he was finally caught.

These included St Nicholas Church at Fulbeck as well as churches in Leicestershire and Rutland.

St John the Baptist Church at Cold Overton, All Saints' at Somerby, St Peter's at Saltby, St Mary's Church, Bottesford, and the church at Langham were among those targeted.

Taylor, 27, of Cheverley Park, Grantham, admitted burglary of four churches during April and May this year.

He asked for a further nine burglaries, five attempted burglaries and one theft to be taken into consideration.

All the offences involved churches.

Taylor was jailed for 14 months by Judge Ebraham Mooncey who told him: "The only option I have is to impose a custodial sentence.

"These are serious matters.

"Perhaps you saw churches as easy targets. You gave some thought to what you were doing.

"Planning and preparation went into deciding where you were going to steal from."



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Category: Church Security

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