A MAN who is already serving time for theft will serve an additional 44 months in jail for stealing £3,000 worth of goods from Worcester Warriors and historic silver worth more than £50,000 a Droitwich church.
Paul Sheward, aged 31, was sentenced on Friday at Worcester Crown Court.
He admitted to taking the silverware on June 26, after entering the church and the cabinet where they were kept.
The whereabouts of the stolen items, some more than 100 years old, is currently unknown as they had already been moved on.
But the court was told police officers were close to finding the silverware thanks to information given by Sheward.
Prosecutor Jason Arisc said: “This is not the first time Mr Sheward has committed a similar crime.
“A few days before he stole the from the church he was caught shoplifting from a supermarket.
“He also stole £3,000 worth of goods from Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium.
“Looking at the law guidelines I would recommend a sentence of somewhere between one and five years.”
Sheward, who appeared on a video link, claimed he did not know how much the silverware cost and admitted his act was down to ‘complete stupidity’.
Sheward’s defence Mark Lister echoed his client’s claims by asking the judge to consider the fact Sheward had cooperated with the police and also pleaded guilty.
Judge Robert Juckes QC said: “I have taken that into consideration.
“I also understand that you have agreed to meet up with Rev Laura Handy to say you are sorry.
“This is very important because to some people, stealing from from their church is as bad as stealing from their home.”
The judge handed Sheward 32 months for stealing from the church and 12 months for his other crimes.
“I have slightly reduced the sentence due to some of the factors which the defence pointed out.”
Rev Handy told the Observer afterwards: “I’m really looking forward to speaking to Mr Sheward and helping him with his journey ahead.
“It’s important to forgive and a one to one chat together will be very beneficial.”