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Saturday, 13 February 2016

Lead thief snared by Bradford Cathedral verger

Lead thief snared by Bradford Cathedral verger

Lead thief snared by Bradford Cathedral verger

A CONVICTED burglar who did £2,000 of damage to Bradford Cathedral in a "planned and determined" bid to steal lead off the roof at dead of night has been jailed for 18 months.
Drug addict Jaroslav Kurtnota disturbed the head verger when the alarm went off at 3.15am as he was cutting and rolling up a substantial quantity of lead flashing, Bradford CrownCourt heard yesterday.
Kurtnota, 29, of Harrogate Street, Undercliffe, Bradford, was caught on CCTV fleeing the scene and traced to the crime scene by blood he left on the roof.
He pleaded guilty to attempting to steal lead belonging to the Church of England on July 24 last year, and to robbing his partner, Peter Cotterill, 68, of £15 cash while on bail on December 15.
Prosecutor, Jayne Beckett, said Kurtnota scaled the cathedral at 2.45am and was up on the roof for around half an hour before the alarm was triggered.
Head verger, Jon Howard, went to investigate and saw him running off.
When Mr Howard checked the roof, he discovered that a large amount of lead flashing had been cut and rolled ready to make off with.
When he was arrested, Kurtnota told the police he was being assaulted that night and climbed on to the roof to evade his attackers. The lead had already been rolled up by someone else.
Kurtnota, a heroin and crack cocaine addict, robbed Mr Cotterill to pay his drug dealer, who was waiting outside.
Mr Cotterill, who lived with Kurtnota in an "on-off relationship" described him as "rattling" that day as he came down from taking drugs.
He pinned Mr Cotterill against the wall and stole the money from his back pocket.
Mr Cotterill locked him out of their home and when Kurtnota banged on the door, threatening to kill him, he called the police.
The court heard that Kurtnota had a conviction for robbery in his native Czech Republic and convictions for Class A drug dealing, burglary and theft in this country.
His lawyer, Tom Rushbrooke, said Kurtnota was planning to sell the lead to buy drugs and he robbed Mr Cotterill to pay his dealer.
"It is a bit of a wake up call and he knows he has to do something positive," Mr Rushbrooke said.

Read full story here T&A



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