A MAN has been banned from every educational facility in the county after stealing from Yale College.
David Gale, of Crescent Road in Wrexham, admitted attempted theft from a person, and burglary and theft at the Grove Park Road campus after he was caught on camera on one occasion and caught by staff on another.
Wrexham Magistrates Court heard Gale, 19, trespassed at the college on January 29 and stole a Nokia mobile phone and a purse which he found in an unlocked classroom.
He escaped without detection but returned two days later and was caught on CCTV after an attempted theft from a student’s handbag.
Gale was given a 12-month community order with supervision and excluded from every school, college and university property within Wrexham county for two years.
He was also ordered to pay £237 in compensation to Alison Harris.
Justin Espie, prosecuting, said: “The victim in the burglary was Alison Harris, a member of staff at Yale College.
“She left the classroom with her bag under the desk and her phone on top of it.
“She couldn’t lock the door but was only away for about five minutes.
“When she came back she found her bag had been searched and her purse taken with £20 cash, bank cards and her driving licence in.
“Her phone, worth about £170, was also taken.”
A statement from the victim read out in court stated how frustrated she was at losing all her contacts, photos and work diary on her phone as well as the stress and expense of having to cancel her bank cards and arrange for a new driving licence.
“Then on January 31, following reports by staff of a male at the scene, police officers attended the college again,” Mr Espie said.
“A student had left her bag and coat on a peg outside a classroom which Mr Gale had rifled through but nothing had been taken.
“When the defendant was spoken to and arrested he admitted the previous offence.”
Justine McVitie, defending, claimed her client had attended the college on the first occasion to ask about courses.
“He happened to see the bag and phone, saw an opportunity and took it.
“After being successful the first time he went back again but didn’t take anything.”
She also asked the court to give him credit for his honesty.
“If he hadn’t made a full admission to the earlier theft, that might have gone undetected.
“He’s a young man who’s fallen on very difficult times.
“He had been sleeping rough, had problems with getting his benefits and his last conviction was for begging, which I think gives an insight into the level of desperation he was in.”