Pair sentenced for roles in £10k theft from Scout hut

The 2nd Beccles Scout Group hut where �10,000 of equipment was stolen Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

The 2nd Beccles Scout Group hut - Credit: Archant

Two men have been handed suspended prison sentences for their part in the 'cruel and selfish' theft of more than £10,000 of equipment from a Suffolk Scout hut.

Thomas Morton was sentenced to eight months' custody, suspended for two years, for burgling the 2nd Beccles Scout Group headquarters, while Kyle Seago received the same sentence for handling stolen goods.

Morton, 23, of Common Lane Beccles, and Seago, 22, of The Uplands, Worlingham, admitted the offences at an earlier hearing and were sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Nicola May said bows, arrows and casings, along with seven tents, worth a total of about £10,400, had been discovered missing from the Scout hut on August 28, 2018, after a member of the public reported seeing three individuals pulling a trolley-load of camping and archery equipment nearby.

Text messages later found on Seago's phone read: "Lots of bows and tents, if you want any", while another found on Morton's phone, from a third party, urged him to come clean, adding: "Admit to what you did. Think of the youngsters who enjoyed going there." 

The court heard Morton had since received a three-year custodial sentence for possession with intent to supply class A drugs, while Seago had just finished a suspended sentence for dishonesty about a month before the burglary.

Jude Durr, mitigating, said both Morton and Seago were "young and directionless" at the time.

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He said Morton had emerged chastened from prison and a period of post-sentence supervision.

He said Seago was on course to becoming a self-employed construction worker and that both would benefit from the opportunity to construct a meaningful adult life while serving sentences in the community.

Judge Emma Peters told the pair: "It was unpleasant, cruel, wicked and selfish of you to deprive so many young Scouts of the ability to use this equipment.

"Now is your opportunity to get away from a repeated pattern and avoid being a drain on society."

Both men will be required to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work and up to 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.

Due to limited means, each will have to pay only £600 in compensation.

A teenage girl had also been charged with burglary but prosecutors offered no evidence and the case was discontinued last July.