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Thief stole cash after service for war dead

Blackpool Magistrates Court

Blackpool Magistrates Court

A thief sneaked into a church and stole the collection after a remembrance service for those who died in wars, a court was told.

David Hill had only been out of prison for two days when he struck at Our Lady’s Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, St Annes, and took £470.

His picture, taken from the church’s CCTV footage, was published in the newspapers and Hill then gave himself up to the police.

Hill, 52, formerly of St Davids Road North, St Annes, now living at Osborne Road, South Shore, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to burglary.

He was bailed for pre-sentence reports with all options including custody to be considered and will be sentenced at a later date by Blackpool magistrates.

Philippa Jones, prosecuting, said a church official at Our Lady Star of the Sea, St Annes Road East, counted up the collection from the remembrance service on November 10 last year.

It came to £470 and she put it in an ante-room.

On her way back to the main body of the church she saw Hill sat in a side chapel. When she returned Hill had gone and so had the money.

Hill’s picture, taken from the church’s CCTV footage, was put in the media.

Hill, via his solicitors, then got in touch with the police. He went for an interview and admitted the offence.

Brett Chappell, defending, said Hill agreed it was an atrocious offence, but he wanted to stress he did not know it was money from a remembrance service.

Hill had an horrific criminal record.

He had been released from prison on November 8 and found himself with no money, place to live or support.

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