A thief who stole £30,000-worth of lead from church roofs was caught after dropping a probation letter at one of the crime scenes./headdesk
James Wall, 21, and partner-in-crime Aaron Hennessy were jailed yesterday for 15 months as Judge Christopher Compston condemned them for targeting community venues in December and January.Well, at least they got a custodial sentence!
Their barrister told Judge Compston at Oxford Crown Court yesterday they needed the cash to buy Christmas presents.SNORK!
Hilary Neville, prosecuting, said the thefts “accumulate to somewhere in the region of over £30,000”.The judge, surprisingly enough, asked the obvious question:
Venues were insured but repair costs were more than the value of the stolen metal, she said.
She said both admitted the thefts to police and showed receipts from T R Rogers scrap merchants in Nuneham Courtenay, where they sold the metal.
Judge Christopher Compston said: “Has investigation been done to the person who bought the lead because most of us don’t turn up selling lead?”It damn well should be!
Miss Neville said the company was a legitimate business but did not know if an investigation was under way.
Of course, they have tons of previous:
Wall, of Mount View, Henley, has six previous convictions and admitted breaching a suspended prison sentence for sexual activity with a child. Hennessy, 24, of Beeching Way, Wallingford, has three previous convictions for theft, common assault and making off without payment.A truly thankless task for their defence, but give him his due, he did his best:
Andrew Hobson, defending, said Wall’s benefits had been stopped and father-of-one Hennessy had “no great deal of money”.Of course they did….
He said: “They did it because they were short of money. Christmas was coming and they felt a form of pressure as perhaps many of us do.
“They wanted to buy people Christmas presents.”