Father raided church after stag party

A father who got drunk while on a stag party and broke into a church stole hundreds of pounds worth of musical instruments, a court was told.

Father raided church after stag party

Peter Anthony Sutcliffe, aged 42, forced his way into St Gregory's Church in Blackhalve Lane, Wednesfield, and made off with a keyboard worth almost £300 and an £80 guitar.

Wolverhampton Magistrates' Court heard that the burglar also caused more than £500 worth of damage to property, and a CD player had been ripped from the wall during the raid in July.

Sutcliffe was arrested in August after blood found at the scene was traced back to the crook at his home in Rugby, Warwickshire. Police later recovered the guitar and keyboard. Roger Bleazard, prosecuting, said: "The church warden arrived at the property and found that it had been broken into. The defendant had got into the church through a low-level window.

"The police conducted enquiries and they carried out forensic analysis at the scene. Blood was found and it was that DNA sample that led officers to the defendant.

"He made full admissions to officers and told them he had been out on a stag do in Wednesfield and had been drinking. He said he took the items for family that live in Showell Road, Bushbury.

"He tested positive for cocaine on arrest and clearly has issues with alcohol and drugs. The defendant has a poor record, including a 12-week sentence for burglary in 2010."

Sutcliffe, who has a wife and a child, represented himself at the hearing.

Charge

He said in his defence: "I am sorry for what I have done. That's all I can say really."

Sutcliffe, of Brownsover, Rugby, pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary other than dwelling. Magistrates sentenced him to a 12-month community order with a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement.

He was ordered to pay £250 compensation for damage caused to the church and a £60 victim surcharge.

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