Charity and church thief sent to jail

A THIEF who had nowhere to go when he was released from prison stole from the very people who had helped him.

Daniel Jones was familiar with Morpeth’s Barnabas Safe and Sound charity as he had used its housing service until he was evicted because of his behaviour in November 2010.

But Newcastle Crown Court heard this week how the 20-year-old returned to the charity’s house in Oldgate on June 29 this year and stole electrical equipment from a bedroom, and kicked the pay-phone off the wall in the communal area to try to get some money. It wasn’t the first time he had targeted the organisation.

Jones was also in the dock for a burglary at St Robert’s Church in the town where he ransacked the sacristy and stole cash which was supposed to be sent to children living in poverty in other parts of the world.

And on December 3, he broke into the Barnabas Youth Space and stole £300 worth of computer games and consoles.

Jones, of no fixed address, had gained access by removing a pane of glass on the door, but he left a finger print behind.

He also accessed his Facebook account from the centre and failed to log out when he left.

Prosecuting, Glenda Turnbull said some of Jones’ haul from the Oldgate house was sold to commercial traders and he told police that he was high on valium and wanted money to buy drugs and alcohol. In total, he stole more than £1,400 worth of cash and equipment.

Defending him, Tony Cornberg said: “He refers to people who do this as scum and feels ashamed.”

Jailing Jones for a total of 18 months for two counts of fraud, a dwelling house burglary and burglary other than a dwelling, Judge John Milford said the offences were so serious that only custody could be passed.

He added: “You had a poor start in life through no fault of yours.”