Church collection thief sentenced
PETTY thief Andrew Duffy will today begin an 18-month community rehabilitation order after stealing money from a church collection box.Duffy, 42, of Horseman Court, Martlesham Heath admitted stealing £18.
PETTY thief Andrew Duffy will today begin an 18-month community rehabilitation order after stealing money from a church collection box.
Duffy, 42, of Horseman Court, Martlesham Heath admitted stealing £18.21 from St Mary's Church, Market Hill, Woodbridge.
He also pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court to a charge of attempting to steal from the church.
The church had installed security cameras and Duffy was seen taking money from the collection box on August 17.
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Lesla Small prosecuting told the court that he was arrested the following day when he again tried to steal from the church.
Duffy, who had changed his name by deed poll from Richard Smy, has debts of £1,700 and started stealing from churches on a weekly basis.
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When being interviewed by police Duffy admitted to taking about £70 from the collection box over five occasions in July and August.
Hugh Rowland mitigating said: "He knows he has done wrong and let himself down badly."
Magistrate Kate Redmond told Duffy: "You are stealing from the people of the church and not just the church itself."
Duffy was also ordered to pay £70 compensation to the church and £50 court costs.