Don't miss a story sign up to Weston Mercury's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Man spared jail after stealing more than £4,000 worth of iPads from primary schools

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 December 2017

North Somerset Courthouse.

North Somerset Courthouse.

Archant

A Weston-super-Mare man has been told he is ‘very lucky’ to have been spared jail after stealing more than £4,000 worth of iPads from two schools.

Lee Porter, of Alfred Street, appeared at North Somerset Courthouse on December 20 for sentencing after pleading guilty to two counts of burglary.

Porter, aged 39, was hired as a cleaner at Herons’ Moor Community Primary School and Baytree School, a special needs school in Worle, when he committed the crimes.

The court heard how Porter stole an Apple iPad Mini, worth £198, from a classroom at Baytree on November 6 and sold it to a friend.

Robert Fry, who bought the device for £75, was using it when he discovered an email account for the school and confronted the defendant.

Porter was then spotted at Herons’ Moor between November 23-27 outside of his usual working hours by staff who described his demeanour as ‘not quite right’.

Rebecca Pearce, prosecuting, said: “The iPads were stored in two cupboards on the first floor of the building. They were not locked away given the level of trust among staff.

“Between these two dates, 15 iPads were taken from the classrooms and there were no signs of a break-in and only some were missing, meaning the selection had been random.”

Mr Fry returned the iPad Mini to staff at Baytree, and Porter was arrested by police, who found a second iPad at his home. He had stolen 16 devices from the two schools, worth £4,198.

Magistrate Tina Symons said: “You are a very lucky man Mr Porter as we were considering sending you to prison for what you did to schools which are struggling with money.

“You were in a position of responsibility and the school trusted you. These were two separate events and you went in there knowing what you were going to do.”

David Bird, mitigating, told the court of Porter’s struggles with substance abuse.

He said: “All sense of morality and responsibility goes out the window when need your next fix.

“He has started making positive steps and has just been accepted into a dry house.”

Porter was handed an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. He must also complete a six-month drug rehabilitation course and pay £500 compensation to the schools.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

29 minutes ago

More than 150 people joined a beach clean at Sand Bay at the weekend.

Read more
15:00

Congresbury residents took part in an ancient tradition this week, which involved blessing trees, with the hope of prompting a successful season for cider-making.

Read more
13:09

The threat of snow over the next 24 hours has seen the Met Office issue a weather warning.

Read more
49 minutes ago

Members of a Weston-super-Mare dog group have raised hundreds of pounds for animal charities after creating a calendar featuring members’ cute canines.

Read more

North Somerset Council is hiring a head of major projects to deliver its regeneration plans.

Read more
10:14

A popular children’s entertainer has teamed up with the Weston Mercury to offer a free child’s party for one lucky reader.

Read more

Weston-super-Mare’s mayor will hold a dinner and dance in March to raise money for her two chosen charities.

Read more
08:21

Traffic is moving slowly following an accident at a busy Weston-super-Mare road this morning (Tuesday).

Read more
07:31

Drivers are being warned to expect delays on the M5 between Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon this morning (Tuesday) due to a collision.

Read more
07:19

Tributes have been paid to the founder of a Somerset autism charity following his death earlier this month.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder