Rotary robber gets 150 hours unpaid work

Haverhill Rotary Club members collecting with their Santa sleigh ANL-161213-170010001
Haverhill Rotary Club members collecting with their Santa sleigh ANL-161213-170010001

A 22-year-old man has appeared in court for stealing a bucket of cash from Haverhill Rotary Club’s Christmas collection.

Liam Basham, of Haverhill Road, Castle Camps, pleaded guilty at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court on Monday to stealing the cash two weeks before Christmas.

The club had been collecting in the town centre on December 10 and as treasurer Mike Morris bucket with loose change in it down the path beside St Mary’s Church, Basham snatched it from his hand and ran off.

Two members of the public gave chase, called the police and Basham was arrested shortly afterwards.

The court imposed a community order on Basham for a year, during which time he is required to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and take part in a rehabilitation activity for up to 10 days.

He was also ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

At the time of the robbery, Mr Morris was still wearing his rotary hi-viz tabard.

He told the Haverhill Echo that week: “We see the people who donate this money and it’s obvious some of them are not that well off, but they make a donation – he just thinks he can grab it and take it.”

After the trial, Mr Morris said: “We are pleased the culprit was caught, that he has now been dealt with and also that we have been able to recover the money.

“This was I think aided by the intervention of two members of the public and also a swift response by the police.”

He added that the total collected over the five outings with their Santa sleigh was £2,106.67 which Mr Morris believes is the most the Rotary Club has collected at Christmas.

The figure includes the money that was stolen, which has now been handed back by the police.