Man admits stealing from church charity boxes

A 20-year-old man who admitted breaking into a church and stealing from charity boxes has been remanded in custody at Londonderry magistrates court.

Bernard Cooke of Lettershandoney Avenue was charged with breaking into St Brigids church, Racecourse Road, and stealing cash on 29 November 2012.

A police officer told the court the church sacrostan called to say money had been taken from charity boxes.

The accused was identified from CCTV footage.

He initially denied the offence but after he had been shown the CCTV footage he admitted entering the church with the intention to steal.

Cooke told police he went into the main body of the church but left as there were people in it.

He then went to a room known as the prayer room, kicked in the door and stole money from the boxes.

The officer said that boxes had come from all over the city and the church was unable to say how much was in them.

Cooke told police he got between £200 and £300. The police opposed bail and said this offence happened when Cooke was on bail on another charge.

He said that following his last court appearance there was community ill-feeling towards Cooke and he was currently under threat.

A defence solicitor said that Cooke would admit the offence but the only issue was which court would have jurisdiction over it.

He was refused bail and remanded in custody to appear again on 24 January.