Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

A PRO­LIFIC thief who stole char­ity cash meant to help the ter­mi­nally ill has been jailed.

Brian Anthony Leonard, 40, took the East Cheshire Hospice col­lec­tion box af­ter break­ing in to Mac­cles­field Leisure Cen­tre’s re­cep­tion area on May 2.

Leonard, of Ren­frew Close, Mac­cles­field, ad­mit­ted bur­glary af­ter ap­pear­ing at Crewe mag­is­trates court.

The of­fence breached two su­per­vi­sion or­ders im­posed by the courts fol­low­ing his re­lease from prison.

He was jailed for 42 days in to­tal – which in­cludes 28 days for the bur­glary and 14 days for each breach – which are to run con­cur­rently.

Mag­is­trates said cus­tody was the ‘vi­able op­tion’ be­cause Leonard has 68 con­vic­tions for 144 of­fences, in­clud­ing 89 for theft and ac­quis­i­tive of­fences, and his lack on en­gage­ment with the pro­ba­tion ser­vices.

It is not known how much money was taken so Leonard was not or­dered to pay any com­pen­sa­tion but was told to pay court costs of £200.

It costs £7,500 to run the hospice ev­ery day.

With only 20 per cent of fund­ing com­ing from the NHS, all other funds for the hospice are col­lected through fundrais­ing events.

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