Drug addict burglar targets temples before handing himself in

A prolific thief is back behind bars after targeting collection boxes during a spate of raids on Sikh and Hindu temples.

The Shree Krishna Mandir temple on the Penn Road in Wolverhampton
The Shree Krishna Mandir temple on the Penn Road in Wolverhampton

Scott Manders struck twice late at night at the Gurudwara Baba Wadbhag Singh Ji in Mount Pleasant, Bilston, a judge heard.

On the first occasion he broke in through a window and found the collection box from which he took an estimated £500 worth of donations on May 3 last year, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

The 34-year-old defendant returned to commit a carbon copy break in over a year later on September 18 but this time he found the metal collection box was locked and fled empty handed, explained Ms Suzanne Francis, prosecuting.

Manders also threw a rock through a window to get into the Shree Krishna Mandir temple in Penn Road, Wolverhampton in December last year and stole an unspecified amount of money. He tried again - this time using a ladder to reach an unsecure window - on August 23.

"These temples were deliberately targeted and the offences occurred at night during the currency of his licence following early release from his last sentence," said Ms Francis.

Then between October 5 and 6 the defendant forced a window before getting into the AK Garage in Pearson Street, Blakenhall through an unsecure wooden side door.

He found a cupboard with car keys in it, selected one that fitted a Mercedes C320 worth £2,500 and stole it.

Just days later the heroin and cocaine addict walked into a police station and gave himself up because he realised he had become a danger to both himself and other people.

Mr Simon Rippon, defending, observed: "There is no evidence to link him to these offences except his own admissions.

"He is quite well qualified but struggled to feed and clothe himself and could not find work. He received £340-a-month benefits with the majority of that going on hostel accommodation. He has neither friends nor family."

Manders from Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton, who had 29 previous convictions involving 62 separate offences, admitted burglary with intent and theft.

He was jailed for 13 months by Recorder Geoffrey Kelly who told him: "Burgling these religious institutions is a despicable offence.

"They are set up for charitable as well as religious reasons. If you had asked for help instead of attacking them your plea would not have fallen on deaf ears."

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News