A man has been jailed for two years and four months for breaking into a school and stealing iPads used by children of key workers.
Steven Gorvett, 42, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday after he pleaded guilty to the burglary at Beaumont Primary School in Warrington, Cheshire, a spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
The CPS said Gorvett, who also admitted possession of cannabis, climbed scaffolding to get into the building in the early hours of April 9 and used a crow bar to smash a window, leaving a trail of blood in the school office.
A second man fled when the school alarm went off while Gorvett made off with the equipment, meant for children who would not otherwise have access to IT.
In a statement to the court, school business manager Joanne Warburton said the school was left with a bill of about £4,500 to replace the iPads and repair damage left by Gorvett, who was traced through his DNA.
Detective Constable Vicky Hancox said: “To target a school during the coronavirus pandemic and steal iPads used to assist children of key workers to learn and develop is truly deplorable.
“This crime has not only affected the pupils but has also impacted the hard-working staff who have been continuing to provide an education for these children in the most difficult of circumstances.”
Mike Stephenson, of CPS Mersey Cheshire, said: “Staff at Beaumont Primary School were educating the children of people who were working through the coronavirus epidemic.
“These families were presumably already under some pressure to work through what are extraordinary circumstances.
“For the staff and children to then have to face the loss of key equipment and the shock of seeing their school broken into is a further strain in an already difficult situation.”