A man with no previous convictions has been jailed for six months for his part in a Darwen mosque burglary.

Blackburn magistrates heard Jack Pilkington was one of three who broke into the Madina Mosque on Victoria Street and stole charity boxes.

Pilkington, 23, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to burglary and was jailed for six months by District Judge Richard Thompson. Two other men have entered not guilty pleas and are remanded on bail pending their trials.

Bilal Saeed, prosecuting, said police saw a Ford Transit van being driven around Blackburn town centre around 1am. There had been a spate of incidents involving the van and the officers stopped it.

“The defendant was in the vehicle and when he was searched he was found to be in possession of two bags containing £1 coins,” said Mr Saeed. “The van was searched and as well as two crow bars the officers discovered more bags containing £1 coins under the passenger seat. They also found receipts from the Madina Mosque.”

Mr Saeed said the burglary was reported early that morning. Entry had been forced to the property and an internal office door broken. A mosque official estimated the damage to be around £1,000 and said there had been about £300 in the charity box.