Man jailed for stealing lead from church in Cratfield, near Halesworth

Samson Stancu was jailed for 34 weeks for stealing lead from a church in Cratfield.

Samson Stancu was jailed for 34 weeks for stealing lead from a church in Cratfield. - Credit: Archant

A man has been jailed for 34 weeks after admitting stealing lead from St Mary's Church in Cratfield, near Halesworth.

Samson Stancu, 20, of Deakins Road in Birmingham, was arrested at the weekend in connection with the theft, after West Mercia Police made several attempts to find him.

He admitted stealing the lead sheeting with a scrap value of around £4,500 in December last year and was identified by DNA recovered from items left at the scene of the theft.

Stancu was then remanded in custody and appeared before magistrates in Worcester on Monday, where he was jailed for 34 weeks.

The Rev David Burrell, Rector of the Benefice of Four Rivers which covers Cratfield Church said; 'After the theft, there was a great upsurge of support from our community. People rallied round to weather-proof the building and raise money for repairs.

'Our church is of huge importance to our village and well-loved and we are grateful to the generosity of so many and to the police for their hard work and support.'

Secretary of the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches James Halsall said; 'I am delighted to hear the news of the sentencing of Mr Stancu to 34 weeks' imprisonment.

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'The consequences of crime on church buildings affects the whole community and I know the theft of lead at Cratfield St Mary shocked the people of the village.

'I am very grateful to the Suffolk Constabulary for their tireless work in tracking down Mr Stancu and bringing him to justice.'

Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said he was 'very pleased' to hear of the successful conviction, and thought it was 'particularly sad' to see churches stripped of their lead.

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