A 45-year-old man who stole from the homeless after breaking into Burton's YMCA shop has been jailed.
Andrew Smith, of Wetmore Road, in Burton, smashed the window of the shop, in Borough Road, before breaking open a sealed charity box and stealing its contents, leaving its staff and volunteers in shock.
Now Smith has appeared at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court where he admitted the burglary. He pleaded guilty to entering the YMCA shop, in Borough Road, in the town, as a trespasser with intent to damage the building sometime between May 8 and May 11.
He has now been jailed for 10 weeks, with magistrates saying his prison term was due to his substantial criminal history, the fact he targeted a charity shop and that he had previously not complied with court orders. He was also on licence at the time and has now been recalled to prison.
Magistrates heard there was also a significant amount of damage caused at the charity shop, which raises funs to help homeless people in Burton.
The YMCA told the Burton Mail that Smith smashed a window at the side of the YMCA Burton shop, entered the building, smashed open the sealed charity box which contained donations for the staff to work with the homeless, and stole from it. However, the exact amount that was taken is not known.
A spokesman from the YMCA said: “The staff and volunteers were shocked to learn that the charity premises has been broken into, particularly as the YMCA seeks to help so many in the community. Thankfully this is a very rare occurrence.”
Smith was also ordered to pay £500 compensation and a £115 victim surcharge.
The charity supports homeless people in Burton and South Derbyshire and helps get them back on their feet after falling on hard times. This can be due to drug addiction, a family break up, loss of a job or a home.
The charity uses its training and support centre, in James Street, Burton, as an accommodation block but also offers courses to its residents to help them build skills for life in the work place.
Its charity shop, in Borough Road, Burton, sells furniture and other homeware at a discount price for its residents, and money raised goes back in the YMCA's fund.