Teenager admits trying to steal lead from a church roof

Oxford Magistrates Court where the youth appeared last month

Oxford Magistrates Court where the youth appeared last month

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A TEENAGER who admitted trying to steal lead from an Oxfordshire church roof has told a court he regrets it.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was told to pay £400 compensation yesterday after admitting attempting to steal lead from the roof of the Church of St John the Baptist, in Abingdon Road, Kingston Bagpuize, in June.

But the youngster told the court: “I regret it, definitely. At the time I just thought about the money. I didn’t think about anyone apart from myself.”

Swindon Youth Court heard yesterday the crime had caused about £4,370 damage.

Crime scene investigators found a screwdriver with fingerprints matching the defendant’s.

The youth pleaded guilty when he appeared at Oxford Magistrates’ Court last month.

Kirsty O’Connor, defending, said: “At the time of the offence he was street homeless and he doesn’t work, he doesn’t have an income.

“He heard from other people that taking lead and selling it could be a way of getting money. He is now living back at home.”

Magistrates also gave the teenager a six-month referral order to the Youth Offending Team.

Judge Diana Crockett said: “You have pleaded guilty to this offence at the earliest opportunity. We’re going to make you the subject of a referral order for six months which will help you to move forward in a positive way.”

Speaking after the hearing, church warden Susan Green – who discovered the damage when she arrived at work on June 18 – said it will be covered by insurers.

She said: “We were saddened but it has not stopped us from doing anything.”

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