TWO men have been jailed for breaking into a Wigan councillor’s home and stealing his son’s piggy bank.
Alan Wardle, 45, of Stranraer Road, and William Lee Dutson, 38, of Comet Road, both Marsh Green, were sentenced to more than two years behind bars after pleading guilty to burgling Coun Paul Collins’s home, at Liverpool Crown Court.
The court heard how Coun Collins was on holiday in Malta when the pair broke into his home in Viscount Road, Marsh Green, on January 9.
He returned to find the house turned upside down and was disgusted to find the thieves had stolen Zac’s piggy bank which contained savings accumulated since he was a baby, plus his PlayStation and games.
Wardle received a term of two years, four months, whilst Dutson will serve two years, eight months.
Coun Collins, who represents Shevington-With-Lower-Ground, said: “I would rather they had never done it at all, so they wouldn’t have to go to prison.
“But at least they are paying for what they have done.
“But now it is over, it will help my children, especially my son, move on.
“I would like to thank our local police and Victim Support teams for their swift and effective action in bringing the burglars to justice and their ongoing support.
“I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to all of the members of the public for their messages of support and to those who came forward with information.
“Now that these two criminals are behind bars, I am now switching focus onto tracking down people who have bought stolen property from them so that they too can be brought to justice.
“If thieves didn’t have customers then there would be no incentive for them to steal other peoples property in the first place.
“I would encourage anyone with information about people with stolen goods or details of other crimes to dial 101 and help us rid our communities of these criminals once and for all.
“I have not got my items back and I have lost quite a lot as not everything is covered with insurance.
“It is often only a handful of bad people that can hold entire communities to ransom or can cause a whole community to live in fear.
“The sad reality is, these bad people are given sanctuary from people’s silence.
“People with information about criminals or their crimes just need to dial 101 and speak with an operator who can make a record of the information.
“This may provide vital intelligence to the police and authorities so that they can target problem areas more effectively and help to reduce crime to the benefit of everyone.”