Mean burglar raided Newcastle city centre cathedral while clergy and staff were present

Marc Egdell, jailed for burgling a cathedral in Newcastle
-Credit: (Image: Northumbria Police)

A city centre cathedral was raided by a mean burglar while members of staff and the clergy were present.

Marc Egdell, 46, targeted a restricted section of a cafe area at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle, in February. Newcastle Crown Court heard the burglary was discovered when a till was found outside and a card reader was on the floor.

An examination of the till drawer was linked to Egdell, who has 185 offences on his record. Prosecutor Neil Jones said the till contained no cash but it had been detached from the card reader during the raid, which cost £222 to fix.

Mr Jones said: "There were staff and members of the clergy present within the vestibule while the offender was present."

Judge Penny Moreland said the offence was "mean" and told Egdell: "The cathedral works with people who are homeless, who are otherwise vulnerable and to take advantage of that and enter the cafe and steal the till, hoping to find money, was a mean thing to do.

"There were people inside the cathedral when you committed this offence."

Edgell, of no fixed address, admitted burglary. He also admitted theft of an umbrella from a Mercedes which was parked on a street and burglary of a family home while a mum and daughter were inside, just a month after the cathedral break-in. The court heard he had got into a porch area of the house before he was disturbed by a delivery driver and did not steal anything.

However, the homeowner said she was left feeling "uneasy" and fears something similar could happen again.

Judge Moreland said it is clear Egdell is a "different person" when not under the influence and sentenced him to two years and nine months behind bars.

Jennifer Coxon, defending, said Egdell has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, which is the cause of his offending, for a "significant period". Miss Coxon said Egdell has been given a responsible job in prison on remand and sought help with his problems