Salisbury man jailed for stealing lead from church roof

Salisbury man jailed for stealing lead from church roof

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 10:12am 7th July 2020.

2 minute read

Jason Wynter was caught on the roof of the premises last year.

Police were called to St James' Church in Devizes around 2.40am on September 28th following a report that people could be heard on the roof.

24 hour prayers were being carried out in the church and banging noises could be heard from up above and movement could be seen through the stained glass windows.

When officers arrived they located Wynter on the roof and he was arrested.

Checks of the roof showed that several metres of lead had been removed and rolled, with a pair of secateurs found nearby.

Wynter, from Bemerton Heath, was found in possession of a car key, with a vehicle located nearby found to contain a further amount of lead. 

St James Devizes
St James' Church in Devizes.


The 49 year old pleaded guilty to theft and taking a vehicle without consent and was jailed for two years.

Detective Constable Keith Harford said: 

"The damage caused to the church in Devizes was substantial - this type of incident can be really significant to the diocese and the parisoners and I am pleased that we were able to catch Wynter in the act and arrest him swiftly, in order to prevent him from targeting any further churches and causing further damage."

Mark Harrison, Head of Heritage Crime Strategy for Historic England, said: 

"When thieves steal metal from protected sites and buildings such as churches, they are stealing from all of us and damaging something which is often irreplaceable. The impact of such crimes places a significant burden, both emotional and financial, upon those individuals and communities committed to safeguarding our heritage for the benefit of current and future generations."

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