Cradley Heath cheese thief keeps freedom after college raid

First published in News

A 23-year-old Cradley Heath man who raided the Stourbridge Horticultural and Catering College and stole property including a slab of cheese has been allowed to keep his freedom.

Shane Smith was with two other men when they carried out the break-in and his fingerprint and footprint were found inside the College which teaches students with learning difficulties Then, when investigating police officers went to Smith's home in High Haden Road they found a large block of cheese in his fridge and it was identified as coming from the College.

"This was a mean offence," Judge Nicholas Webb told Smith adding, "A not insignificant amount of property was taken and it has never been recovered."

The College premises were vulnerable, added the Judge, because they were not guarded but he ruled he was just able to avoid sending Smith straight to prison because it was his first burglary.

Smith admitted carrying out the raid and he was given a six month jail term suspended for 2 years coupled with 12 months Supervision with a condition he attends the Alcohol Treatment Programme.

He was further ordered by the Judge at Wolverhampton Crown Court to pay the College £1,000 in compensation to help cover the £2,050 worth of property that was stolen including a computer.

Mr Simon Williams defending said the College canteen was the only site entered by the burglars and it was offence that was committed by Smith on "impulse."

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