Former Melksham thief who stole £33,000 of church roof tiles to pay back just £490 (From Wiltshire Times)
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Former Melksham thief who stole £33,000 of church roof tiles to pay back just £490
12:00pm Wednesday 4th July 2012 in Latest News
A roofer who stole more than £33,000 of tiles from Wiltshire churches and another historic buildings has been ordered to pay up less than £500.
Joe Crossley, formerly of Avon Road, Melksham, but now living in Melton Mowbray, was stripping the stone tiles from isolated buildings when he found business as a legitimate roofer tough going.
But the 24-year-old, who received a 16-month jail term in April, will have to pay back less than two per cent of the value of the stolen tiles.
He has six months to come up with the cash or faces a further 14 days inside.
Judge Douglas Field, sitting at Swindon Crown Court, ruled Crossley’s benefit from his crime was worth £33,066.
However he found his realisable assets to be just £490.
Crossley stripped the roofs of six churches across west and north Wiltshire so he could sell on the valuable masonry at knock-down rates.
Among those targeted were St Anne’s on Bowden Hill, Lacock, St John the Baptist in Little Somerford, St Leonards in Keevil and St Mary’s in Broughton Gifford The roofer was caught in Hilperton in late July when his van was spotted and the police were called.
Crossley admitted three thefts and asked for seven offences to be taken into consideration.