TWO school raiders went on a night-time spree in East Lancashire, stealing more than £2,000 cash and leaving a £12,000 trail of destruction, a court heard.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Mark Rhodes, 28, had targeted St Edwards RC School in Darwen, between last November 6 and 9, where he and an accomplice caused damage to the tune of £6,500, stole money and left the young pupils upset.

Rhodes and another partner-in-crime Liam Harbour, 27, then struck at Clitheroe Brookside Primary School, where they helped themselves to funds raised by pupils at a summer fair, last December 10.

On the same night, the pair also ransacked St Mary's School, Whalley Road, Langho. They pocketed £1,450 from Clitheroe, caused damage just short of £6,000 and stole £190 from Langho.

The hearing was told the duo had £1,721 in their possession when they were arrested. They made no comment when quizzed, but had expressed remorse to the court and had vowed to change their lives.

Rhodes, of Grassington Place, admitted three burglary charges and Harbour, of Rawcliffe Avenue, pleaded guilty to two allegations.

Both live in Bolton and have records for burglary.

Rhodes was locked up for two years and Harbour was jailed for 20 months.

Judge Beverley Lunt ordered each school should get £740.

Mark Lamberty, prosecuting, said police had stopped a car in the Brownhill area of Blackburn.

Rhodes was the driver, Harbour was in the passenger seat and they gave an excuse about where they were going. In the boot of the vehicle was a crowbar and a rolling pin with gloves in the front of the car.

Sentencing, Judge Lunt warned the defendants: “Your victims are children.

“Another non-dwelling burg-lary, and particularly if it’s a school, it will start at five years.”