Jail for wrecking spree at church

Andrew Lunn broke into St Cuthberts Church

Andrew Lunn broke into St Cuthberts Church

A man who burgled a church and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage had only been released from jail two months earlier.

Andrew Lunn damaged candlesticks, removed a crucifix from the altar and used it to force open collection boxes for coins, a court heard.

He also broke a baptismal font and caused almost £3,000 damage to stained glass windows at St Cuthbert’s Catholic Church on Lytham Road, South Shore.

Lunn was found lying on a bench at the front of the church by the sacristan who went to prepare the building for Mass one morning last October.

Preston Crown Court heard Lunn ran from the scene, but was identified by blood drops found on the broken windows.

The 32-year-old from Canterbury Avenue, Bradford, was found guilty of burglary and criminal damage after a trial by Blackpool Magistrates.

He denied being the burglar or knowing who was responsible.

Hanifa Patel, prosecuting, said a man who did work for the church had arrived around 8.15am and while he was looking at all the damage that had been caused, he saw Lunn lying on a bench at the front of the church.

He shouted to him “Who are you?” Lunn got up and staggered about, appearing either to be drunk or on drugs.

He was shouting, but the man could not understand what he was saying. He walked straight outside.

Police found that a toilet window had been smashed and blood found there belonged to Lunn.

A footwear impression taken from the scene also matched a trainer he was wearing at the time of his arrest. He told police he had no recollection of what he had done that day.

The court heard that he had only been released from prison less than two months earlier, from a sentence of two years and almost five months for burgling three homes. His sentence had been passed at Kingston-upon-Hull Crown Court in June 2012.

Lunn, who was not represented at the hearing yesterday, told the court he had since taken steps to cut back on his drinking and get to grips with it.

He had set up his own handyman business.

He spoke of being on medication and knew he should not drink while on tablets.

He was staying in Blackpool at the time and spoke of being assaulted one night. As a result, he drank more and more.

He insisted “I didn’t pinch anything.

“I can’t understand in my head why I would do that.

“I am disgusted with myself.

“I have tried my best to stay out of trouble. I am trying to change my life for the better.

“Jail doesn’t do anything for me.”

Lunn was given 15 months in prison by a judge who said that only an immediate prison sentence could be justified.


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