Knifeman stole money bags from Belmont Abbey monks

Stephen Bullock was convicted of one count of possessing a knife blade in a public place and pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary.

Bullock, aged 58 of South Gate Court, Hereford, was caught with a knife in Hereford on March 28, just four days after he had burgled Belmont Abbey and Hedley Lodge Hotel.

He has been sentenced to 10 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, at Hereford Magistrates’ Court.

Sarah Hurd, prosecuting, said the incident involving the knife was in Charles Witts Avenue, and that Bullock was carrying a kitchen knife.

He had previously burgled Belmont Abbey, stealing cash and money bags to the value of £880, and Hedley Lodge Hotel, stealing clothing.

His guilty pleas were taken into account by magistrates when they came to their decision, but they said that the offences were so serious that only more time in custody could be justified.

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This was because of Bullock’s previous offending, his breach of trust, the effect on the victims and his “exploitation of charitable outreach”.

An order was made for the kitchen knife to be forfeited and destroyed, and Bullock was handed a restraining order telling him not to enter the hotel or monastery.

He must also pay £880 in compensation to the monks and prosecution costs of £187.

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