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Thief guilty over Bobbing school roof lead theft

School roof targetted for just £300 of metal

A man caused £200,000 of damage to the roof of a village school – just to get lead worth less than £300.

A judge has now told thieving Jimmy Smith: "You caused a huge amount of damage for a relatively modest amount of lead...that beggar's belief."

Scaffolding was put up as workers tried to fix the roof at Bobbing Village School
Scaffolding was put up as workers tried to fix the roof at Bobbing Village School

Now, more than 18 months after the attack on Bobbing Village School near Sittingbourne, Smith has been told he is facing a jail sentence.

The criminal was late for his hearing at Maidstone Crown Court – blaming a cancelled train – and also had failed to show up for a probation report.

But Judge Julian Smith gave him another chance to meet with probation officers but warned him a report would go towards the jail sentence.

Smith, of Juno Road in nearby Milton Regis, admitted theft of lead in November 2021 - damaging a felt roof in the process.

He also admitted perverting the course of justice by falsely reporting the theft of his car.

Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

The court heard he had been spotted by neighbours who initially thought he was working on the roof.

In fact, he began taking and loading £286 worth of the material into his car.

One resident inspected the area afterwards and noticed damage to the fencing, before reporting it to police.

Trust chief executive Diane Browning said at the time: "We are greatly disappointed someone would carry out such a crime on our school.

"The damage is extensive, not only to the roof but subsequently to the interior due to water damage.

"Fortunately, swift action has been taken to start emergency repairs to prevent further interior damage and make sure the site is safe.

"After two disruptive school years due to Covid19, dealing with this was considerably more straightforward. We would like to thank the local community for their support.”

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