A churchgoer with an ‘appalling’ criminal record has been convicted of burglary after selling off ill-gotten goods to a female parishioner.
Paul Moore, of Stanley Street, Oswaldtwistle, stole around £1,400 in electrical items from a house while the owner was away for the New Year.
Burnley Crown Court heard how he was caught by police after selling a stolen television to a woman parishioner at Hope Church in Oswaldtwistle for £75.
Footprint evidence was also recovered by forensic officers from the burgled house.
Moore, 43, who has 34 convictions for 155 previous offences, pleaded guilty to burglary and was jailed for 27 months.
Stephen Parker, prosecuting, told the court that the burglary victim had gone away for the New Year period, leaving his home at Higher Heys in Oswaldtwistle at around 12noon on December 29.
The court heard that he ‘may have inadvertently left the patio door unlocked’ and returned on January 6 to find items missing.
A stereo had been taken from the living room along with a large television and electric guitar worth a total of £1,400.
Mr Parker said there was a bag of CDs and clothing left on the floor and evidence Moore had been upstairs into the victim’s bedroom, however nothing was taken.
The court heard that an envelope was recovered from the floor of the property with a footprint and officers later found footwear at the address where Moore was arrested linking him to the scene.
Mr Parker told the court: “It wasn’t conclusive evidence but strong evidence.
“There was also a witness, who attended the Hope Church in Oswaldtwistle and had purchased on January 3 the television stolen during the course of the burglary. She paid the defendant £75 for it, indicating he (Moore) said it was a spare television he had.
“Bearing in mind she had met him through the church, she had no reason to disbelieve what she had been told by him.”
James Heyworth, defending, acknowledged Moore had a ‘fairly significant’ criminal history, but said he has ‘done much to try and turn his life around’.
He told the court: “He recognises the inevitability of custody.
“In the past drugs were at the heart of his offending behaviour but it was not in this case.
“He realises he needs to do something with his life apart from essentially partaking in a revolving door scenario of custody, further offending, further custody.
“He has put in place some positive steps for the future and carried out a variety of courses in custody which will stand him in good stead.”
Recorder Philip Grundy said Moore had an ‘appalling record’ and ‘predominantly for dishonesty’.
Sentencing, he said: “This offence against the background of your life and convictions is so serious that only a custodial sentence is justified.”