Man who stole lead from church roofs faces jail

A LITHUANIAN man faces jail after he admitted stealing lead belonging to the Church of England.

Vitalijus Vilkys, 27, of Nelson Street, Lincoln, pleaded guilty to a single charge of handling stolen goods on 19 September, 2011, when he appeared at Lincoln Crown Court.

Vilkys was arrested following a six-month intelligence-led operation by Lincolnshire Police into metal thefts from churches around Boston, Grantham, Stamford and Spalding.

The court heard Vilkys admitted handling stolen lead on just one occasion after receiving a phonecall from a man asking to borrow his car in return for his tank being filled up with petrol.

In his plea Vilkys accepted becoming suspicious and turning a blind eye when he realised the lead was being taken to a scrap metal yard in exchange for cash, but he denied knowing the lead had come from a church.

Judge Michael Heath granted Vilkys bail for the preparation of a probation report but warned he could still be still be jailed when he is sentenced next month.