Church lead thief ‘attacked the heritage’ of Norwich

websiteA man was caught ‘attacking the heritage’ of Norwich by stripping £4,000 of lead from the roof of a city church.

Eastern Daily Press writes:

Erikas Zabas, 31, was caught ‘red-handed’ having removed lead from the roof of St George’s Church in Colegate, Norwich. John Morgans, prosecuting at Norwich Crown Court, said Zabas and another man were seen acting suspiciously at the church by members of the public. He said the public-spiritedness of those nearby meant police were called and attended…

But Mr Morgans said a ladder was against the wall with an assortment of tools, including screwdrivers, mole grips and chisels. He said two piles of lead had been removed. Mr Morgans said the church targeted in the incident, on August 8 last year, was a grade one listed building…

Recorder Douglas Herbert, who sentenced Zabas to 28 months in prison, said: ‘Theft of lead from church roofs, particularly from areas such as Norfolk – a county blessed with many historic grade one and two listed churches – is extremely prevalent. This is a very serious offence, it’s an offence which attacks the heritage provided by this building… It’s an offence which is particularly prevalent in Norfolk…’

Lead theft [is] not a victimless crime – that is how a church leader described the theft of lead from a Norwich church. Reverend Alaric Lewis, who moved to Norwich in April last year, said the theft of lead from the roof St George’s Church on Colegate in August 2018. ‘ … The victims of this crime are the people who support and love this church.’  He added: ‘It’s shocking that this happened in the city surrounded by people, when it was light outside…’

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