Cumbria Crack

Man admits stealing money from church donation box

Carlisle Magistrates Court

A court has heard how a mean thief went into a Keswick church and stole money from the donation box.

Ian Peter Walsh appeared before magistrates by video-link in Carlisle today (THURS) charged with theft, including theft by finding on July 13, by stealing monies from the Crosthwaite Church in Keswick, also obstructing a constable in the execution of his duty.

The defendant pleaded guilty to both offences, he however asked the court that he be called Ian Peter McDuff from now on, he has no permanent address.

It was stated he went into the church and opened a locked donation box containing around £3, and left.

The church warden found McDuff on the church’s CCTV cameras and notified police, he was later arrested and found to have a pair of scissors and £3 in cash on him.

The court was told McDuff was homeless with no-food, he knows this was wrong, but was in “dire-straits,” his lawyer Daniel Spencer told the court he is very remorseful, he had recently been released from prison and had nowhere to live, it is believed he is not from this area.

The magistrates commented this was a vulnerable organisation, a charity, they made a conditional order of discharge for 18-months as he is already serving a prison sentence for an unrelated offence, he will pay compensation of £3 to the church.