Suffolk

Essex and Suffolk school laptop thefts: Trio jailed

Liam Cook, Christopher Kerr and Francis Wilding Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Liam Cook (left), Christopher Kerr (centre) and Francis Wilding admitted conspiracy to burgle

Three men have been jailed for stealing over 250 laptops and causing damage worth £200,000 at schools across Essex and Suffolk.

The burglaries happened at 37 primary and secondary schools between August 2012 and May last year.

The three men, from Clacton and Frinton in Essex, admitted conspiracy to commit burglary with intent to steal.

They have been jailed at Ipswich Crown Court for up to 5 years and 4 months each.

The largest burglary was at Kersey Primary near Hadleigh, Suffolk in April 2013, when 28 laptops valued at £32,940 were stolen and a window was broken costing £1,000.

'No remorse'

Francis Wilding, 22, of Broadway, Jaywick near Clacton, admitted stealing from 28 schools and he was jailed for 64 months..

Christopher Kerr, 26, of Halstead Road, Kirby Cross near Frinton admitted his part in 15 burglaries and was jailed for 64 months.

Liam Cook, 26, of Frinton Road, Kirby Cross was given 40 months as he admitted five raids.

Locations of Suffolk schools where thefts happened:

  • Bardwell, Bentley, Bramfield, Easton, Great Barton, Kersey, Monks Eleigh, Moulton, Risby, Rougham, Stoke Ash, Witnesham

Locations of Essex schools where thefts happened:

  • Ardleigh, Bradfield, Bulmer, Chelmsford, Clacton, Colchester, Dedham, Fordham, Great Bentley, Great Bromley, Langham, Lawford, Messing, Mountnessing, Rayne, Rowhedge, Rivenhall, Shalford, Tendring, Weeley, Woodham Walter

Det Insp Nick Power said: "The really demoralising aspect of the crime is the impact it had on the teachers and kids who come in the next day and their work has disappeared.

"These people have shown no remorse for the offences they've committed.

"It sends out a very clear message that, if people commit this type of crime, we will catch them and they will be sentenced heavily."

Police said a total of 58 school burglaries were being investigated, no laptops had been recovered yet and they were still seeking other culprits.

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