Plasmarl Primary School left 'devastated' by break-in
A CALLOUS thief has left a primary school “devastated” after breaking in and stealing laptops.
Ian Corbett even made a return trip to the school a month later, but left empty-handed after finding the school’s remaining valuables had been removed.
Plasmarl Primary School had been broken into four times since term began in August and 15 laptops had been taken, Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard.
Corbett, of Landeg Street, Plasmarl, pleaded guilty to burgling the school and taking five laptops, worth £2,295, and entering the school on a second occasion with intent to steal.
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Corbett, 31, first went to the school between 4am and 4.30am on September 9. He made his way into the special needs department after leaning a ladder against a wall and smashing a window.
He was traced after leaving blood on a piece of broken glass. Less than a month later, on October 6, he made his way into the school again by smashing a window.
Julie Sullivan, prosecuting, said: “No items were stolen this time because what items were left had been taken home for the evening by the headmistress.”
In his interview, he told police another unnamed man had already smashed a window on the first occasion and invited him to go back with him to the school.
Corbett said he had sold the laptops on for £500.
In a police statement, head teacher Lucy Saunders had told officers the laptops were “essential” for their pupils.
She also said that during August the school had welcomed offenders taking part in the Community Payback scheme into the school.
“The children and staff are devastated at this loss,” she said.
“It has been a very distressing and costly start to the new term, and as usual it is the children who suffer.”
She said the school had now begun fundraising to replace all the laptops, which were used by all the pupils.
Andrew Evans, representing Corbett, said his client had not been part of the Community Payback scheme but had been drinking heavily and his “inhibitions were lowered” before committing the first offence.
“He is at pains to point out, he was not aware he was taking them from a special needs department,” said Mr Evans.
He has yet to be sentenced and will next appear at Swansea Crown Court on December 10.