Portsmouth Groundlings Theatre burglars due in court over incident that nearly forced historic venue to close

BURGLARS are set to appear in court to be sentenced after a historic theatre was ransacked and nearly forced to close.

By Steve Deeks
Saturday, 6th November 2021, 4:55 am

Groundlings Theatre in Kent Street, Portsea, was devastated in September 2019 leaving an insurance claim of £30,000 for the struggling theatre.

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Doors and computers were damaged in the raid that saw five computer servers, two iPads, a laptop, a safe and £880 in cash stolen.

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Thieves were caught ransacking the Groundlings Theatre in Kent Street, Portsea, Portsmouth, on the morning of September 29. This picture shows a cupboard containing the theatre's safe smashed open. Picture: Richard Stride

Then owner Richard Stride said damage done came close to shutting down the 236-year-old theatre.

Brothers Steven and Daniel Storey were charged by police with burglary and were due to appear before magistrates in August last year - with the case subsequently victim to a number of delays.

But on Friday the pair appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Steven Storey, 40, of Hawke Street, has now admitted a charge of burglary.

Daniel Storey, 39, has also now admitted burglary - but on a basis of plea that was rejected.

Prosecutor Janice Brennan said: ‘(Daniel Storey) says other burglars were there who went in and took things and he and his brother came in later.’

She added: ‘This is not accepted by the Crown. This would make a significant difference to sentencing.’

A Newton hearing to decide the facts of the case will now be heard on December 23 with sentencing for both defendants due to follow.

Daniel Storey was given an electronic tag and curfew of 9pm to 6am to reside at his Fawcett Road, Southsea, address until the hearing.

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