Pick-axe raiders sentenced after ransacking Buxton Rugby Club

A burglar who smashed his way into Buxton Rugby Club with a fellow-offender has been ordered to pay over £1,000 in compensation.

Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 9:40 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 11:30 am

Ian Robert Swainston-Leigh, 33, of Midland Terrace, Fairfield Road, Buxton, struck at the rugby union club with a co-defendant who has been jailed, according to a Chesterfield magistrates’ court hearing on April 24.

Lynn Bickley, prosecuting, said: “On March 23 the club was left secure and locked and it was checked at 3pm that afternoon but the following day, on March 24, the secretary received a call saying there was damage to a window above double doors facing the pitch.”

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Pictured is some of the damage caused at Buxton Rugby Club after a recent burglary.

A further inspection revealed a large glass window had been smashed, according to Ms Bickley, a fire door was smashed and double fire doors had been wrenched open. Miss Bickley added that a till had also been ripped from the bar and was found lying damaged on the floor and all the cash apart from loose change had been taken.

The court heard CCTV images of the burglary were shared on social media as part of an appeal to bring the offenders to justice.

Miss Bickley said the two offenders were identified and Swainston-Leigh’s co-defendant received a prison sentence.

Swainston-Leigh admitted his part in the burglary and told police they had managed to steal £200 out of the till. He claimed to police his co-accused had been on a downward spiral and had dragged him down too.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Swainston-Leigh told police that he and his co-accused had looked around roadworks and found a large pick-axe and this was used to break-in to the rugby club.

He pleaded guilty to entering the club with the intention to steal.

Serena Simpson, defending, said: “He has not excused his behaviour or blamed anyone else and said he worked with the co-accused. But they had different roles and he played a secondary role and a decision was made by his co-defendant and he went along with it.”

Miss Simpson added Swainston-Leigh, who has previous convictions, had not been in trouble since 2015 and he has been struggling with alcohol and drug problems.

Swainston-Leigh is also recovering from an assault and it is feared he will lose his eyesight, according to Miss Simpson. She said he is ashamed of committing the burglary.

Swainston-Leigh was sentenced to a 12 month community order with an Alcohol Treatment Requirement and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. He must pay £1,150 in compensation.