Thief in vestry stole PS1,000.
SERIAL sneak thief Derek Tate sank to a new low to steal nearly PS1,000 raised by church volunteers at their summer fair. Tate "hurt the whole community" when he pocketed the cash from a safe in St Aidan's Church, in Billy Mill, North Shields. Tate, 34, sneaked into the vestry and helped himself to the money, which had been raised by volunteers to help others. He was caught on CCTV and identified by an officer, a court heard. Despite being filmed, Tate denied taking the cash. At North Tyneside Magistrates' Court, he was convicted of one count of burglary. Tate, of Whitehouse Lane, North Shields, was given an 18-month com - munity order, 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay PS479.74 compensation, PS250 costs and a PS60 victim surcharge. Jonathan Stirling, for Tate, who has 32 previous offences, including nine for dishonesty, said he'd been suffering from depression. | Derek Tate