A SELFISH burglar has been jailed after stealing charity money from a mosque in Warrington.

Incredulously, the offender then returned the following day with a mate with the intention of stealing from the place of worship again.

David Roberts and David Atkinson were caught attempting to break into the mosque and subsequently charged.

Roberts was charged with burglary and attempted burglary, while Atkinson faced counts of attempted burglary, threatening behaviour and failing to provide a sample for a class A drugs test.

The pair appeared before Warrington Magistrates’ Court, where they were both jailed.

Nicola Parr, prosecuting on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, informed the court that the burglary occurred on June 15.

Roberts, aged 42, was seen on CCTV entering the backyard of Jamia Mosque as a trespasser and forcing his way through the back door.

The defendant then made a search of the building and found charity cash boxes containing around £700 to £1200.

He left and then returned with a carrier bag and took the boxes.

The pair were jailed at Warrington Magistrates' Court

The following day, Roberts returned, with him and Atkinson captured on CCTV climbing the back fence of the mosque and trying to gain entry by forcing the door open.

The two offenders then took some ladders from back yard and used them to gain access through the upstairs window.

Roberts climbed the ladders while Atkinson kept watch, but the two were spooked by a passing cyclist and left.

Atkinson returned but was disturbed by members of the mosque who contacted police, and he was subsequently arrested. Roberts was arrested shortly after at his home.

He behaved in a threatening manner, likely to cause alarm or distress, and failed without good cause to provide a non-intimate to ascertain whether he had a class A drug in his body.

Both defendants pleaded guilty to the charges and were sentenced by district judge Boswell.

Roberts, of Hanover Street in the town centre, was jailed for 36 weeks, while Atkinson, of Winmarleigh Street in the town centre, was locked up for 19 weeks.

The sentence was welcomed by PC Zackery Carlin, of Cheshire Police, who said: “Stealing charity boxes, and those from a place of worship is an abominable thing to do.

“Then to try again just defies belief.

“Thankfully, these two are now facing time in prison as a result of their actions, and I hope this deters other opportunist thieves.”