Bid to smash way into church

A CHURCH’S coffers will be hit after would-be burglars smashed a hand-painted window as they tried to get inside.

St Oswald’s Church in Hartlepool was targeted by yobs who smashed part of an Edwardian glass painted window causing around £1,000 damage after first cutting their way through protective wire mesh.

The attempted break-in comes just as the church was about to launch a restoration campaign for the upkeep of the building in the town’s Brougham Terrace.

Father Graeme Buttery said: “Luckily it was not one of the picture windows, but the damage is still annoying and irritating.

“Being Edwardian it is expensive.

“Judging by the stones and bits of wood they left behind they got through the wire mesh protection and then tried to smash the window through with stones.”

He said luckily, the yobs could not get in as the lead inside the window held and there was not enough room to squeeze through.

Father Buttery added: “We were just about to start to look at our church renovation.

“A building like this needs work doing to it. That is going to require thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of pounds but now that will have to wait before we get this sorted.”

Police are appealing for witnesses to the attack which happened sometime between 10pm on Tuesday and 7am on Wednesday.

A Cleveland Police spokesman said: “Officers want to speak with anyone who may have been in the area at the time or anyone who has information.”

Anyone with information is asked to call PC Holly Angus, of Hartlepool Police, on (01642) 302178 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.