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Jail for Burnley mosque raider
2:30pm Thursday 24th October 2013 in News
A MOSQUE raider trampled over prayer mats in trainers and stole a £150 mobile phone from beside a sleeping member, a court heard.
Heroin addict and career crook Andrew Purvis, 32, had also broken into a safe and stolen £50, after walking into Queensgate Islamic Centre, Colne Road, Burnley, which had been kept open for Ramadan.
Purvis, took the phone from the bedside of one of three men who were staying at the mosque and sleeping between prayers, the town's crown court was told.
Jailing Purvis for 16 months, Recorder Philip Parry said Purvis's pre-sentence report made very depressing reading.
He told him: “Trampling all over the prayer mats wearing shoes will have caused huge discomfort and upset to those who visit that mosque. You may not have known what you were doing, just wanting to get in and get out.”
Purvis, of Parkinson Street, Burnley, admitted two counts of burglary and asked for one burglary to be considered.
The defendant also burgled the hall of residence at Burnley's University College of Football Business on May 13 and Belvedere Rugby Club in Reedley.
He had stolen £343 worth of property from the club's changing room, the day before raiding the mosque. Prosecutor Sarah Statham said CCTV showed Purvis repeatedly walking over the prayer mats, showing 'complete disregard' for them at the mosque.
Purvis, who has more than 70 offences on his record, has been in and out of jail for years.
He hit the headlines in 2001, when he sneaked into the private chambers of Burnley's top judge, Judge Raymond Bennett and stole his £2,000 laptop.
Tim Brennand, for Purvis, said his behaviour was opportunistic.