A CHARITY which runs the Millennium Eco Centre in Wrexham had vital funds stolen during a burglary at its premises.

Volunteers had raised more than £1,000 but a rear window was smashed and £949 had been taken together with a safe, Mold Crown Court was told.

The centre is an off-site provision established by St Christopher's School for children with special needs, which enables students to gain work experience.

Headteacher Maxine Pittaway had told police that staff, students and members of the public worked long and hard to raise money for the centre so that people with disabilities could benefit.

“The people responsible for the burglary have no idea of the consequences of their action,” she said.

During police investigations into the burglary, a police scenes of crime officer found a finger print belonging to Christopher Tudor.

Tudor, 21, of First Avenue, Gwersyllt, admitted burglary with intent to steal at the centre but denied taking the money.

He said that he had met friends who had told him that they had burgled the centre and taken the safe – and that he went in through the already broken window to see if there was anything he could steal. But he did not take anything.

Andrew Green, defending, said that his client had built up a criminal record but he had no previous convictions for burglary.

The offence happened at a time when he had left home because of tension with his parents, he had nowhere to sleep, friends told him what they had done, and he went for a look.

“He didn't actually take any money himself,” said Mr Green.

The defendant appreciated that it had to be custody and that it was simply a question of how long.

Jailing him for eight months, Judge Niclas Parry said that £900 had been a lot of money for the charity to lose, and nothing had been recovered.

He told Tudor that it had been a despicable offence.

“You are a local boy. You knew that it was a vulnerable building and you targeted it,” he said.