Burglar who stole cash from church in Halesworth is jailed

Karl Evans

Karl Evans - Credit: Archant

A burglar has been jailed for 16 months after admitting stealing money from two churches in Suffolk and Norfolk.

Karl Evans, of Ellough Road, Beccles, had previously pleaded guilty to burgling St Mary’s Church in Halesworth and St Michael’s Church in Ditchingham in March last year.

During the 25-year-old’s Ipswich Crown Court sentencing, his barrister Andrew Thompson said Evans’ life had gone off the rails after two tragedies and he had fallen into a spiral of Class A drug abuse.

The court heard Evans had stopped using drugs last April and had been clean for about nine months.

He was caught after police found a match to his DNA at the scene of one of the break-ins.

A donation box was taken from St Michael’s after being levered off a wall.

A cash box with a £20 float inside it was stolen from St Mary’s and the priest’s door was damaged.

Most Read

Sentencing a tearful Evans, Judge David Goodin told him: “I must approach with particular care a burglary of any place of worship because special considerations apply.

“All are sacred to those who worship there and respected by most who do not.

“A burglary of such a building arouses particular feelings of pain, distress, outrage, close to the natural response to a burglary of somebody’s home.

“By any sensible definition it’s an act of desecration as far as these premises are concerned.

“There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that has caused trauma to those who have used those places whether they are officials, priests, churchwardens or simply members of the congregation.”

“You have had more than your fair share of personal tragedy and difficulty.

“You have had a history prompted, I have no doubt, by difficulties you face, substance misuse on a daily basis.

“It’s no mitigation for an offence of this nature, but it’s something I must properly and do take into account because you have reached a nadir – a low point – in your life.”

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