Man kicked cafe door in to steal just £4 in cash

Sam Wilson, owner of Cafe Frills on Library Street in Wigan
Sam Wilson, owner of Cafe Frills on Library Street in Wigan

A man has been jailed after breaking into a town centre cafe and stealing just £4 in cash.

But Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard John Crossland caused £1,115 of damage to Cafe Frilis on Library Street after kicking the door in and stealing the cash tray from the till.

Crossland, 40, of Almond Brook Street, Standish, had only been released from prison for a similar offence just weeks before he broke in to the cafe on April 13.

Tess Kenyon, prosecuting, said: “The owner of the business, Sam Wilson, said she left the premises locked and secure but returned the next day to find the front door smashed in and the tray from the till had been stolen.

“She was not able to buy a replacement drawer and had to buy a new till costing £115. The front door also needs to be replaced at a cost of £1,000.

“The owner said ‘the incident has upset me because I have only just started my business. I get up in the morning now worried about what I will find when I get to work’.

“The offence happened at about 1.30am and the offender was caught on CCTV which showed him kicking the door in before going into the premises.

“He was then seen leaving the area.

“Mr Crossland admitted the offence when he was arrested and questioned by officers.”

The court heard that Crossland had previous convictions and was on licence at the time of the offence after being jailed for a house burglary in 2014.

Melissa Fagan, defending, said: “The offence was committed about two months ago when the defendant had just been released from custody,

“As part of his licence he was sent to a local bail hostel but when he arrived he was told there was no room for him.

“He was left therefore with no fixed abode which meant he fell into bed company and as a result found himself drinking and had taken some amphetamine around the time of the offence.

“He told me he has no recollection of the event but does not dispute his involvement. He has been in custody since his arrest on Saturday.

“He know he will be recalled to prison for the breach of his licence but he does not know for how long.”

Crossland, who pleaded guilty to the one count of burglary other than a dwelling, was jailed for 18 weeks and ordered to pay £115 compensation.

The magistrates said: “This was a deliberate burglary which caused significant amount of damage and was aggravated by the fact you were on licence and your horrendous previous record of offending.”