A tranquiliser-addled career thief has been banned from every church in England after his latest spate of burglaries.
Christopher Coulthard targeted churches in three counties and also stole a purse during a break-in at a Catholic primary school in Surrey.
Oxford Crown Court heard on Friday (September 22) that the 61-year-old crook was arrested in Radley, Oxfordshire, last month after a member of the public recognised him as the man caught on CCTV stealing from the village church’s collection box in June.
Jailing him for three years and four months, Judge Ian Pringle KC told Coulthard: “It’s a repeat of offending which you know you’ve done in the past and you know what the outcome is going to be.
“I can’t really be tied by the guideline, such is the proliferation of offending you repeatedly commit.”
He imposed a criminal behaviour order banning the thief from entering any religious establishment except with the written permission of an office holder such as a minister or churchwarden.
Earlier this summer, a parishioner contacted the Oxford Mail after a man – later identified as Coulthard – was filmed on CCTV sneaking into St James’ Church, Radley, on June 24 and picking the lock of a cash collection box.
The brazen burglar could even be seen looking at the camera before he pilfered donations meant for the parish then walked out the Grade II* listed medieval church.