Church metal theft men from Lincoln sentenced

Four of the lead theft gang (From left) Vidas Andruska, Andrius Cereska, Tadas Andruska and Andrius Kvedavas were all jailed

Related Stories

Six men have been sentenced after stealing lead from churches across three English counties.

The defendants targeted churches in Lincolnshire as well as Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

Police said the convictions and jail terms were the biggest success in the fight against British heritage crime.

The men, all from Lincoln, had earlier been convicted at the city's Crown court of a number of offences, including conspiracy to steal.

Vidas Andruska, 34, of Newland Street, was jailed for seven years after being convicted of the charge.

Andrius Cereska, 30, of Laceby Street, Tadas Andruska, 35, of Roman Pavement, and Andrius Kvedavas, 30, of Maple Street, were each jailed for four years, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal.

Start Quote

All you cared about was making money”

End Quote Judge Michael Heath

Nerijus Razmas, 33, of Manby Street, who pleaded guilty to theft and going equipped to steal, was sentenced to a total of 22 months.

Vitalijus Vilkys, 27, of Nelson Street pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods and received a six-month suspended sentence and 180 hours of unpaid work.

Passing sentence, Judge Michael Heath said the "professional, planned offending for financial gain" imposed a heavy burden on small communities.

"The thefts have caused serious financial consequences and the impact on these communities must not be underestimated," he said.

"[It is also about] the desecration of sacred places of divine worship. You lot couldn't care less about those feelings. All you cared about was making money."

He said the gang used force to cause damage to buildings with cultural and architectural importance, as well as being part of the heritage of the UK.

More on This Story

Related Stories

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

More England stories


Features & Analysis

  • Stained glass of man with swordFrance 1 England 0

    The most important battle you have probably never heard of

  • Golden retriever10 things

    Dogs get jealous, and nine more nuggets from the week's news

  • Pro-Israel demonstrators shout slogans while protesting in Berlin - 25 July 2014Holocaust guilt

    Gaza conflict leaves Germans confused over who to support

  • The emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-SabahFreedoms fear

    Growing concern for rights as Kuwait revokes citizenships

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • CastleRoyal real estate

    No longer reserved for kings and queens, some find living in a castle simply divine


  • Leader of Hamas Khaled MeshaalHARDtalk Watch

    BBC exclusive: Hamas leader on the eagerness to end bloodshed in Gaza

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.