Two men have received suspended jail sentences for stealing lead from the roof of Redditch’s Winyates Centre.

Jon Taroni, aged 47, and Scott Harrison, aged 31, both of the Winyates Centre, admitted theft.

Taroni admitted one charge relating to the early hours of 9th December and was given an eight-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, a 12-month supervision order, and ordered to attend an alcohol rehabilitation course.

Harrison admitted two charges, one relating to the early hours of 9th December and the other to another theft of lead from the Winyates Centre overnight between 26th and 27th November, and was given a 12 week sentence suspended for one year, a 12-month supervision order and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Both men were also given fines of £51.

The men were arrested after police, alerted by a call from a member of the public, caught them on the canopy roof of the centre at around 2am on 9th December.

Sergeant Neil Billingham said: “Thanks to a call from a member of the public, they were caught in the act of stripping lead flashing.

“With excellent partnership working between West Mercia Police and Redditch Borough Council’s Anti Social Behaviour Team, and the use of a new CCTV system which enabled us to identify the men, they were charged on the same day.

“Winyates is an area of high need and a lot of money has been spent on improving it. Both defendants are local residents and it is disappointing they have committed this crime on their own doorstep.”

PC Paul Kennedy added: “Winyates is identified as an area of need, and criminal behaviour will not be tolerated.”

Redditch Borough Council’s portfolio holder for Community Safety, Councillor Juliet Brunner, said: “These convictions are a clear signal that criminal and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated in Winyates or anywhere else, with police and council teams working together to take action against offenders. Justice has also been brought here as a result of local residents having the confidence to report criminal behaviour, supported by new security systems.

“CCTV footage from systems designed and implemented last year by the borough council’s Community Safety Team was instrumental in achieving these convictions.  The systems were paid-for by Redditch Partnership ‘Winning Winyates’ project and the council’s Housing Capital fund.  Winyates residents can be reassured that local agencies are investing in the safety and security of their neighbourhood.”

“The council will now be taking appropriate action against the tenants involved.”