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Man who broke into Museum of East Anglian Life is ordered to pay compensation

The Museum of East Anglian Life Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Museum of East Anglian Life Picture: GREGG BROWN

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A man who broke into a popular Stowmarket museum and caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage has been ordered to pay compensation.

Magistrates in Ipswich heard how Connor Howe, 21, used a brick to break a glass panel at The Museum of East Anglian Life some time between February 24 and February 25 this year.

The court heard that Howe, of Creeting Road East, Stowmarket, did not steal any property from the museum but a till was opened.

Lesla Small, prosecuting, said crime scene investigators took fingerprints from the scene, and they were matched to Howe.

In police interview, Howe told officers he had smashed the glass with a brick to get inside the museum and discarded the brick nearby.

He said he did not steal any property from the museum but apologised for his actions.

The damage cost the museum around £900, Ms Small said.

Howe also faced a charge of fraud by false representation after using a bank card which did not belong to him to make a purchase on eBay.

Howe claimed he found the card in December last year and then used it to buy a limited edition coin collection for £115.

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He then changed a limited edition £5 coin from the set at the bank and used it to buy a drink, Ms Small said.

The victim, who had not realised his card was missing until he received notification from his bank, was reimbursed £115 by Halifax.

Howe was also charged with five counts of failing to comply with a community protection notice (CPN) between November 2019 and March this year after being caught busking in Stowmarket.

Ms Small told magistrates Howe was issued with a CPN in October last year which banned him from begging and busking in certain areas of Stowmarket.

He breached those conditions five times by busking or singing and dancing, and asking members of the public for money.

Howe was also charged with assaulting a police officer after he resisted arrest and kicked an officer on February 28. The officer was not injured.

Howe appeared at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to commit damage, fraud, assaulting a police officer and the five CPN breaches.

Magistrates handed Howe an 18-month community order, with up to 30 Rehabilitation Activity (RA) days and 80 hours of unpaid work.

He must also pay the Museum of East Anglian Life £300 in compensation, £115 to Halifax and £50 to the officer he assaulted.

A spokeswoman for the Museum of East Anglian Life said: “We’d like to offer our thanks again to the police for their response to this incident.

“We’re disappointed it happened, but we hope this result will dissuade others from committing similar offences.”


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