Wales

Man jailed for St Gwendoline's Church, Llyswen, elf theft

Sam Smith concealing his face Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Sam Smith concealing his face outside court

A 24-year-old man has been jailed for eight months for stealing a 3ft elf from a church in Powys, along with tinsel and fairy lights.

Sam Smith, from Mayhill in Swansea, admitted theft, attempted theft, going equipped for theft and driving offences at Brecon Magistrates' Court.

The court was told he and a girlfriend used bolt cutters and a pickaxe to get into St Gwendoline's Church at Llyswen.

He told the estate manager they had been in the church "to pray".

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Some of the elves which were on display at the church

But the manager, Gavin Hogg, alerted police and officers found the elf, worth £200, in the boot of Smith's car.

Prosecutor Steve Davies said: "Upon a full search of the car a large elf ornament was found, along with other Christmas decorations in a clear grip bag."

Smith was also ordered to pay £20 compensation and was banned from driving for 12 months. The girlfriend was not charged.

Image copyright Wales News Service