North Yorkshire church burglar in court

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Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

A CHURCH burglar has admitted to crime a spree across North and East Yorkshire.

Christopher John Coulthard, 50, was today, February 25, charged with four counts of burglary and one of theft at religious establishments in North Yorkshire and Humberside and asked for a further 30 offences to be taken into account.

He was jailed for nine years in 2010 after admitting burglaries in Worcestershire, but appeal judges slashed his sentence to six years and he was then released on licence in November 2012.

Coulthard - who was known to travel the countryside by bike and to stay at bed and breakfasts, pubs and hotels using a false name - was wanted by Warwickshire Police for recall to prison after breaching the terms of his license.

As well as North Yorkshire and Humberside, he was wanted in connection with several burglaries in Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Cumbria and Lancashire.

He today pleaded guilty at Beverley Magistrates' Court to four burglaries and one theft in North and East Yorkshire between February 17 and 23. He was remanded in custody and will appear at Hull Crown Court in March.

Coulthard was arrested by police in Humberside after a Sunday worshipper at St Andrew’s Church, Ulrome, near Bridlington, noticed a man acting suspiciously inside the church.

The witness contacted police and officers checked nearby churches to ensure all was in order and as a patrol car approached the church in Skipsea a man fitting the description was arrested, a spokesman for Humberside Police said.

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