Cotterstock Church thieves get court date

In July 2016 three and a half tonnes of lead were removed from the roof of St Andrew’s Church, causing repair and replacement damages amounting to £25,000.

While the village began the process of fundraising and organising repairs and additional roof security, residents have been determined to see the culprits brought to justice.

Earlier this year, residents were told that police had finally closed in on the suspects and had gathered evidence that possibly ties three suspects to the crime.

One of the suspects was detained at Gatwick airport from an inbound flight from Austria as part of European arrest warrant.

On March 3, the three suspects were charged in Lincoln Magistrates Court, accused of attempting to steal lead from 46 different church roofs across ten different counties, causing over £2 million in damages between April and November 2016.

Two of the men pleaded not guilty. The third man did not appear in court. Their trial was due to start on May 18.

In a separate investigation, three men were arrested and charged at Lincoln Crown Court on March 20 with theft of lead in over 50 incidents from 2018-2020.

The National Crime Agency says that metal theft is one of the fastest growing crimes across the country.

Esme Kroese
May 2020