POLICE in Northwich have welcomed a lengthy jail term for the ‘prolific' burglar who slashed through a pub roof to raid the fruit machines.  

Wayne Meredith, of Manchester Road, was handed 28 months by a judge at Chester Crown Court, for two counts of burglary other than a dwelling with intent to steal. 

After the sentencing on Friday, November 24, Police Constable Matt Uren of Northwich proactive policing unit called the 46-year-old ‘a prolific offender’, adding he ‘welcomed the sentence'.  

“Many people think crimes of this nature are victimless," said PC Uren.

"But it's not the case. It results in substantial loss for businesses. 

“I hope the fact Meredith's been held accountable for his actions will provide some closure.

“I also hope the case will provide some reassurance to other local businesses by demonstrating we're committed to doing all we can to tackle business crime.”  

Meredith admits breaking into his own local, the Clock Tower on New Warrington Road, by ripping off tiles and hacking at the roofing felt with a knife on September 20, after staff had locked up for the night.

One week later (September 27), he also broke into the Weavers Whistle pub on Wells Avenue, Lostock Gralam, where he did £1,700 worth of damage. 

Meredith, who was on a methadone programme at the time, did a whopping £6,056 damage over both break-ins.

Passing sentence, His Honour Judge Stephen Everett said Meredith has ‘a substantial record’ of break into business premises, because he knows it carries a lesser prison sentence than burgling a house.