Burglar offers relic to pay back damage debt

The damage left by William Wilson when he tried to burgle Lily Sugars bar on Hayling Island
The damage left by William Wilson when he tried to burgle Lily Sugars bar on Hayling Island

‘It’s better to be safe’ police tell the public

Have your say

DRUNKEN burglar William Wilson, who caused thousands of pounds of damage by trashing a pub, will pay off his debts with a valuable piece of medieval jewellery he found on the beach.

The 29-year-old smashed up Lily Sugars pub in Creek Road, Hayling Island, after spending an evening there drinking and then deciding to go back and burgle it after it had closed.

During his sentencing hearing at Portsmouth Crown Court, Wilson offered a bronze and gold Anglo-Saxon bracelet he found while metal detecting on a beach as compensation for the damage caused.

The piece has been valued at £3,000 by an expert.

Judge Roger Hetherington said: ‘I know you are willing to pay compensation to the landlords and it’s difficult to judge how much you can afford to pay back.

‘But based on the information I have, particularly your luck in finding this artefact on the beach, I’m going to work on the basis that that is worth £2,000, and there will be a compensation order for that sum.’

On June 4, a passer-by raised the alarm after hearing crashing noises from inside the pub at about 3am.

Two police officers were soon on the scene and entered through a door which had been forced open.

Inside they found Wilson smashing the place up with a crowbar.

Wilson, of Nutbourne Road, Hayling Island, threw a bar stool at one of the officers and fled through a side door. He was found trying to hide in a hedge.

Total damage to the pub, including two fruit machines, a jukebox, CCTV cameras and other fixtures, plus a loss of earning the next day, were valued at £6,931.

Wilson had pleaded guilty to one count of burglary and one of assaulting a police officer at an earlier hearing.

Judge Hetherington said: ‘I accept there are some things about your offending on that night which are difficult to explain. No doubt it was down to drink, but that’s no excuse for your behaviour.

‘Although you have been out of trouble for a bit you do have a bad history of offending and you have come very close to going to prison today.’

Wilson was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for two years, as well as a 12 month supervision order and two-month curfew.