Teenager admits arson at Winchester church but denies burglary at another

Hampshire Chronicle: St Bartholomew's church in Hyde St Bartholomew's church in Hyde

A WINCHESTER teenager has today denied burgling a city centre church on the same evening a historic church in Hyde was attacked.

Andrew Richardson, 18, of no fixed abode, pleaded not guilty to entering St Peter’s church on Jewry Street on December 23 with intent to steal. He admitted criminal damage to a door.

The crown court heard that Richardson had admitted arson and criminal damage at St Bartholomew’s church in King Alfred Place, Hyde, on the same day.

Extensive damage was caused inside to a table, pew, Christmas tree, stained glass window and kneeling pads. The church is believed to be the last resting place of King Alfred the Great.

Judge Linda Sullivan QC adjourned the case for a plea and case management hearing on March 26. A psychiatric report on Richardson will be prepared. No date for trial was fixed.

The judge remanded Richardson into custody at the end of the hearing today.

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