A HEROIN addict who slashed his way through the roof of his own local pub in Cheshire West to raid the fruit machine has been jailed.

Wayne Meredith did £4,353 worth of damage at the Clock Tower pub, New Warrington Road, Northwich, when he tore off tiles and cut through roofing felt with a knife in the early hours of Wednesday, September 27.   

He also admitted breaking into the Weaver’s Whistle pub on Wells Avenue, Lostock Gralam, on Wednesday, September 20, where he did £500 of damage to a window and £1,200 to the fruit machine.

The 46-year-old, who was on a methadone programme at the time, came away from both jobs empty-handed.

Police investigating the break-ins recognised Meredith’s distinctive parker-style jacket on the pubs’ CCTV.

They found the jacket at his house on September 29 when they went to arrest him, along with other evidence connecting him to the pub burglaries. 

Meredith, of Manchester Road, appeared at Chester Crown Court for sentencing on Friday, November 24, after previously pleading guilty to two counts of burglary other than a dwelling on September 30.

Prosecuting, Shannon Stewart told the court Meredith’s rooftop break-in at the Clock Tower caused £3,603 damage to the fabric of the building, and £750 damage to their fruit machine.

Defending, Ben Berkson, said Meredith’s offending was fuelled by his need for heroin, and that he had a clean record before he started taking drugs. 

“But he’s managed to deal with his plight effectively, having used his period on remand to become free from drugs,” he added.

Meredith’s three children are living with his mum as own their mum is also in prison, Mr Berkson said.

He added: “They all miss him deeply, and he misses them. His current period of incarceration has been a wake-up call.

“He has done much to recover himself, and his motivation is bolstered by his desire to be there for his children, and to build better relationships with them.”

Passing sentence, His Honour Judge Stephen Everett said Meredith’s was ‘a selfish offence’, with thought only for ‘his own pathetic requirements’.

He added: “These offences were clearly pre-planned.

“You use both these pubs yourself, and you clearly targeted them for money.

“On both occasions, you got nothing, but left a trail of damage and destruction behind you.

“You attacked the building from the roof, not caring about the damage you caused, which led to a substantial degree of loss.

“You have a significant record of previous burglaries, particularly non-domestic ones, because you’re aware these carry a lighter sentence.

“I’ve listened to your mitigation carefully, and I regret to say, I cannot see a single feature which reduces the seriousness of this case.”

Judge Everett sentence Meredith to 28 months in prison, less time already spent on remand.

He also ordered him to forfeit the knife he used, and to pay a victim surcharge.