Man found guilty of aiding and abetting social club burglary

A man who opened a door to give burglars access to his local social club has been spared jail.

Tuesday, 5th April 2016, 7:44 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th April 2016, 7:46 am
North Shore Working Men's Club

Lee Cragg, 33, was found guilty of aiding and abetting the burglary at the North Shore Working Men’s Club – where he had spent the evening drinking and playing pool.

Preston Crown Court heard Cragg was a regular at the club in Cross Street, Blackpool.

CCTV footage retrieved from the club showed Cragg, of Egerton Road, North Shore, entering a ground floor bar area through a roller shutter on July 15 last year.

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Judge Simon Newell

He opened the fire doors to the rear of the building before closing them - leaving one door slightly ajar.

Cragg claimed he had gone to take a private phone call outside but he was convicted of aiding and abetting a burglary.

The court heard thieves entered the club through the open door and stole almost £1,000 cash from the bar float and bonus ball competition and damaged fruit machines.

Judge Simon Newell, sentencing, said: “This was a mean offence, not only in terms of the amount of money involved but the fact it was your local and the place you play snooker.

Judge Simon Newell

“You know the people there and your own mother used to work there.

“It is a mean and nasty offence, and not surprisingly, the owners no longer want you to go there.

“You need to keep your fingers off other people’s property.”

Judge Newell handed Cragg a nine month sentence, suspended for 12 years, and ordered him to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.