[A] CRIMINAL who damaged a priceless 15th Century wooden panel during a break-in at Carlisle Cathedral has been jailed.
Dean George Higgins, 34, was seen by a verger as he scaled decorative fretwork to enter the historic building’s shop before heading straight for a charity box early on the morning of August 9.
As Higgins climbed back out of the shop, he damaged the pre-Reformation framework and left debris on the floor.
Carlisle Crown Court heard it had been “impossible” to put a price on repairs which were not yet under way.
Higgins received a 28-month prison sentence today (FRI). He had admitted burglary with intent to steal, and two separate shoplifting crimes.
He was said to have a total of 127 offences on his record – many for theft and dishonesty.
Recorder Andrew Nuttall told Higgins, of Howard Place, Carlisle, he had been a “plague upon this city for a long time”.
Recorder Nuttall said of the cathedral burglary: “A meaner offence it is hard to imagine.”