Burglar who struck on Shabbat gets six years

A burglar who stole precious Judaica from Jewish homes on Shabbat when he knew the owners could not use the phone to alert the police, has been jailed for six years.

James Williams, 53, committed five burglaries in Hackney, east London over two Shabbats in October last year, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Police say he stole "valuable Jewish silver", including a 13-piece candelabra, 12 silver goblets and two silver trays, as well as a diamond brooch.

Several items were recovered from a pawnbroker in Bournemouth, where Williams currently lives, and the items were identified by one of the victims.

Det Con Moira Edon-Ronan, from Hackney's Serious Acquisitive Crime unit, said: "These burglaries have had a significant impact on their victims.

"The offences were particularly callous, being committed during a period of religious observance in the homes of Jewish residents on the Sabbath."

Community security group Shomrim said it had encouraged the victims to report the burglaries. Its director Nochem Perlberger said Jewish residents were reluctant to report crimes, especially if they had a break-in on Shabbat.

Last updated: 2:45pm, April 18 2013