Manchester news 'Obvious' inside job man carried out on church ahead of same-sex marriage vote Manchester united news
MetiNews.Com - Patrick James, 58, will be sentenced later next month
Breaking News ! A man launched a ‘revenge attack’ on his own church because they were voting in favour of same sex marriage. Patrick James, 58, had been trusted with the keys for the Mills Hill Baptist Church in Middleton when the key holder went on holiday. But when Minister James Pate returned just days later he was met with destruction, Manchester Magistrates Court heard. Inside there was £14,561 worth of damage including several smashed stained glass windows and a damaged alarm system. CCTV footage from next door showed James, also of Middleton, entering the church on crutches after arriving in a taxi. Minister Pate told the court in an earlier hearing that this was a ‘revenge attack’ with the church due to vote on whether same sex marriage should be permitted. James ‘took great exception to that’ and said it ‘would not be God's will’, the court was told. Read More Related Articles UKFast founder Lawrence Jones to face trial after pleading not guilty to rape and sexual assault Read More Related Articles How to sign up to our newsletter to get the latest headlines from the M.E.N. Prosecuting, Tina Cunnane told the court that Minister Pate left the church ‘locked and secure’ on May 3 2019 at approximately 4.02pm. “On May 5 2019 he returned at 7.30am and he found that there was damage to a window close to the main door - he knew then something was wrong,” Ms Cunnane said. James, 58, of Middleton, will be sentenced next month at Minshull Street Crown Court (Image: Manchester Evening News) “He went to deactivate the alarm to find it had been ripped off the wall and smashed. “Some of the several stained glass windows had been smashed and other property inside the church had also been damaged. “CCTV from next door showed that it was the defendant who had entered the premises because he was given a key when the key holder was on holiday and he was trusted by the church to look after the premises. “He was seen to arrive in a taxi on crutches, he goes into the church and clearly he has admitted to causing the damage. “On the last occasion this case was before the court there was a Newton Hearing and and the Minister attended and confirmed there was the belief that the defendant had made this attack upon the church as revenge because the church were due to have a vote as whether or not same sex marriage should be permitted. Get our free M.E.N. Court newsletter Manchester's courts are some of the busiest in the country with a vast array of cases heard every week. To keep up to date with how justice is being served across Greater Manchester subscribe to our free weekly M.
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“He took great exception to that and said it would not be ‘God’s will’.” In a victim personal statement read to the court, Minister Pate said: “It has caused unpleasant feelings in the church, it seemed obvious that it was him and an inside job. “The church burnt down in the 1980's and then it was rebuilt and many view the glass windows as a work of art. “These were also seen for people as a symbol of the church being rebuilt and people have been concerned by what happened.” The court heard that the church has since claimed the building’s insurance and all items have been replaced. Pleading guilty to criminal damage, James' case was adjourned for sentence to be heard before Minshull Street Crown Court later next month. James was said to have four previous convictions for 13 offences, none of which are related to this offence. Mitigating, defence lawyer Richard Birtwistle said: “The defendant maintains his actions he admitted were not motivated by any hostility towards those who are making an application to be married, namely those being of the same sex. “However, this defendant recognises you must be faithful to the findings of your colleagues in how you will proceed to sentencing today.
“He is still a member of the church. “At that time there were significant difficulties experienced by this defendant regarding the misuse of alcohol which masked his emotional difficulties he was experiencing in regards to his young child who was particularly unwell. “He found it almost impossible to deal with the trauma of the care of the young child without trying to immerse himself in the misuse of alcohol. “There is a sense of remorse regarding the actual damage caused. “I also ask you to take into account the steps he has already taken to resolve his difficulties that led to the commission of this offence.” Manchester JPs deemed their powers insufficient to deal with the sentencing and adjourned the case to be heard at Minshull Street Crown Court on March 23. James, of The Heath, was granted unconditional bail until the next hearing.
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