When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Blackburn charity box thief is sent to prison
8:00am Saturday 15th September 2012 in News
A 22-YEAR-OLD man who went to great lengths to avoid capture after stealing a charity box from a Blackburn church has been sent to prison.
Michael James Samson, of Bolton Road, Blackburn, was sentenced at Preston Crown Court to two years in jail for the burglary at St Paul’s Methodist Church, in Higher Audley Street.
He will also serve a further year for another burglary he committed.
During the trial, Blackburn Magistrates heard how Samson jumped 15 feet out of the church window with a crow bar in his hand before scaling a wall.
He then jumped into the canal to try and evade police dogs and eventually struggled with officers to such an extent that he had to be parva sprayed.
Andrew Robinson, prosecuting, said the church caretaker and her husband lived in a flat adjoining the church and were woken shortly after 5am by banging noises coming from the church.
He said: “They found the front door damaged and immediately called the police.
“They arrived shortly after and saw Samson jump 15 feet out of the window.
“During the chase that followed, the crow bar, charity box and a balaclava were thrown into the canal.”
Samson pleaded guilty to burglary and theft of a charity box.
Ghaffar Khan, defending, said Samson had been offence free for nearly two years until his benefits were stopped and he lost his accommodation.
He said: “He was living rough for about seven months and only recently got some accommodation.”