His actions in causing £10,000 worth of damage to a Peterborough charity – whose head quarters were built by the Children In Need DIY SOS team – has helped cost Jack Hilton his freedom. But, luckily, Little Miracles at the Spinney found the community spirit that backed the DIY SOS team responded again after Hilton’s attack by raising £6,000 through a JustGiving appeal.
Hilton, 21, broke into Little Miracles, in Hartwell Way, Westwood, in the early hours of 13 March.
He was captured on CCTV throwing a brick at a door of the building before forcing his way in. He caused damage to electrical items and was seen leaving with an unknown item under his arm.
It is estimated he caused £10,000 worth of damage to the building and various electrical items. Computers, games consoles and iPads were among items either stolen or smashed.
The charity, who support families that have children with additional needs, disabilities, and life-limiting conditions, supplied the CCTV footage and Hilton was identified by an officer.
He was further linked to the break-in following forensic investigations.
On 25 May he broke into a flat in Wollaston Road, Peterborough, and stole an Xbox One and a controller. He was again linked to the break-in forensically.
Finally, on 6 August, while on court bail, Hilton broke into a taxi firm in Lincoln Road, stealing a flat screen television, five mobile phones, multiple sim cards, £220 in cash and the keys for a Skoda Octavia.
Hilton’s fingerprints were found at the scene, and he was captured on CCTV.
On 17 August an employee at the firm called police after seeing Hilton and recognising him from CCTV footage of the burglary.
Hilton, of no known address, admitted three counts of burglary and on Thursday (28 September), at Cambridge Crown Court, he was jailed for two years and eight months.
DC Ieuan Friend said: “The damage caused to Little Miracles had a huge impact on the charity. To target them in this way really was callous.
“We know the devastating impact burglary can have on victims, which is why tackling it is a force priority.”
Little Miracles Peterborough branch or The Spinney was built by the Children in Need DIY SOS team in the summer of 2013.
The original building was inaccessible and unsafe, and Little Miracles had quickly outgrown its capacity.
The Spinney is a fully accessible setting in acres of protected wooded play area. The centre is safe and secure and a space where families are able to come together, have fun and get the support they need.
The JustGiving appeal reminded supporters that “we are a charity that support families with children who have additional needs, disabilities, and life-limiting conditions.
“Despite insurance, this is going to have untold cost implications and a big effect on the support we can give to our families, all of whom have children with disabilities and life-limiting conditions.
“Games consoles and laptops were taken or smashed, and donations taken, even covering the excess of the insurance will cost us thousands of pounds.
“As a team we are heartbroken, but we will get through this as we always do”.
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