Lancashire gang jailed over mosque and business burglaries

Lancashire gang
Image caption Carl Cumberland, Liam Cumberland, Sean Cumberland, Daniel Darani, Darren Jeal and Shaun Lever were all involved in the gang

A gang has been jailed for burglaries on a series of mosques and businesses in Lancashire.

Lancashire Police said the gang of seven carried out the raids between February 2011 and September 2012, with about £90,000 of cash and goods taken.

The men were arrested after police investigated burglaries in Blackburn, Accrington, Great Harwood, Burnley, Colne and Preston.

The gang admitted the raids at a Preston Crown Court hearing on Monday.

Liam Cumberland, 27, and Sean Cumberland, 32, were jailed for five years. Darren Jeal, 42, was jailed for four years and Daniel Darani, 31, was given a 40-month jail term.

'Community documents'

James O'Neil, 30, received an eight-month suspended sentence, with Carl Cumberland jailed for 32 months.

Stuart Ainsworth, 40, had his sentence adjourned due to ill-health.

As a direct result of their losses, police said one company was forced to make over 20 employees redundant.

Det Sgt Tim McDermott said: "The effects of their crimes go far beyond the value of the property they stole. Some of the small businesses they stole from suffered and continue to suffer severe financial difficulties.

"Not only did they steal charity money from the mosques but they took community documents which had been left for safe keeping".

He added: "We should not underestimate the impact these thefts had on our local communities who were left feeling violated."

Five of the defendants were from Blackburn; Liam Cumberland, lived in Lytham Road, Sean Cumberland in Accrington Road, Ainsworth in Shaw Street, Darani in Douglas Place and Jeal in Brodick Road.

O'Neil lived in Templeton Close, Darwen and Carl Cumberland in Thwaites Road, Oswaldtwistle.

Two other men were also sentenced for their part in the offences. Shaun Lever, 43, of Windsor Rd, Blackburn, received a two-year supervision order after admitting handling stolen goods.

Ronald Straeker, 51, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to 27 months after admitting burglary, theft and handling stolen goods.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites