Church burglar faces Christmas in jail

A career burglar will be spending Christmas behind bars after admitting his part in the theft of a safe from a church in Ipswich.

IPSWICH: A career burglar will be spending Christmas behind bars after admitting his part in the theft of a safe from a church in Ipswich.

Gavin Dighton was sent to jail for 12 weeks after pleading guilty to burglary at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court yesterday.

The 30-year-old, from Robeck Road, Ipswich, was the only one of four men seen attempting to lift a safe into a car outside St Luke's Church, in Cliff Lane, on August 10.

When police arrived the men were gone but the safe, which contained only documents, was discovered at the entrance to Holywells Park.


You may also want to watch:


There officers saw Dighton hiding in a wooded area. He was arrested and his footprints were later found at the church, where �1,400 of damage had been caused during the break-in.

Mark Holt, representing Dighton, described his client's criminal record as “horrendous” but said his 41 convictions, 20 for burglary, had been accumulated during his younger years, the last being in 2007.

Most Read

Mr Holt added: “He had received a call from the three other suspects asking for an extra pair of hands and he foolishly attended.

“He was the one caught but was arguably the least responsible.”

District Judge David Cooper said Dighton's crime was one of “absolute sacrilege”.

“This was a church,” he said. “And you have such an awful record. I'm sure the church would exercise Christian forgiveness but you have shown no desire to change.”

District Judge Cooper sentenced Dighton to 12 weeks in jail, of which he will serve a maximum of six weeks.

“When you come out you might turn over a new leaf and decide there are better things to do in life than be a burglar,” added District Judge Cooper.

Have you been a victim of crime? Tell us your story - contact the newsdesk on 01473 324790 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter