Trio stole cash from care system office

The trio appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
The trio appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

Three men stole hundreds of pounds when they broke into the office of the supported accommodation where one of them lived, a court heard.

Christopher Jones, 22, and friends Dylan Henderson and Stuart Robinson, both 18, later divided the money between them.

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Wigan magistrates heard Jones was living at Making Space, a supported living scheme for adults with mental health problems on Ellesmere Street in Leigh.

Support worker Debra Ogden was told there had been a burglary in the office when she arrived at work on December 24.

Andrew Hey, prosecuting, said there was damage to the door, a safe had been opened, petty cash tins had been removed and envelopes were opened. More than £500 had been taken from the safe.

Ms Ogden tried to look at CCTV footage, but the system did not work properly and she had to have it repaired first.

When she later viewed the images, she saw the three defendants, with Henderson using a credit card and “shoulder barging” the door open.

The footage caught him walking out of the office to Jones and Robinson, before all three walked into the room and left a short time later holding things in their hands.

Jones, of Ellesmere Street, Leigh; Robinson, of Poplar Street, Tyldesley; and Henderson, of Manchester Road, Leigh, all pleaded guilty to stealing £580 cash from Making Space.

Henderson also admitted using threatening or abusive words or behaviour in an incident on December 28 and failing to comply with the requirements of a rehabilitation order, after not attending appointments.

Ged Frazer, defending Jones, said he lived at Making Space because he has learning difficulties and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He had lived with his mother until six months ago and had no previous convictions.

Bob Toppin, representing Robinson, said he believed they were getting money owed to Jones and his client made a “full and frank admission” at the police station.

He said: “This is not a sophisticated burglary committed by upmarket villains. It is three young men who have behaved completely stupidly, very impromptu, no planning at all and an offence that was obviously executed very badly because it was all caught on CCTV.”

Kevin Liston, representing Henderson, said he was a “complex individual” brought up in the care system.

Chairman of the bench, Sara Moreton, sentenced Robinson to a 12-month intensive community order, with 25 rehabilitation activity days and a six-week curfew from 7pm to 7am. He was also ordered to pay £193 in compensation.

Magistrates adjourned sentencing for Henderson and Jones until January 24 so the probation service could obtain more information for pre-sentence reports.

Jones was remanded on unconditional bail until then and Henderson was remanded on bail with a condition not to enter Ellesmere Street in Leigh.