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Boost for Norfolk rugby club which was broken into twice in just three days

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:00 17 September 2019

Left to right, Andy Leech, Dan Baker, Hannah Hobbs, Andy Pullinger, Kevin Maddams, Jenna Ray and Dee Mann. Pic: Keith Mindham Photography.

Left to right, Andy Leech, Dan Baker, Hannah Hobbs, Andy Pullinger, Kevin Maddams, Jenna Ray and Dee Mann. Pic: Keith Mindham Photography.

copyright keith mindham photography

A rugby club which was left to pick up the pieces after it was targeted by burglars twice in the space of just three days has been handed a much-needed boost.

Criminals forced their way through a locked front entrance before making their way into the kitchen and ripping off cupboard doors. Photo: Liz BrownCriminals forced their way through a locked front entrance before making their way into the kitchen and ripping off cupboard doors. Photo: Liz Brown

Lakenham Hewett Rugby Club, based on Main Road in Swardeston, suffered what club members described as "enormous" damage to its pavilion in the second of the break-ins in March last year.

Criminals forced their way through a locked front entrance before going into the kitche, where they ripped off cupboard doors.

They stole several bottles of spirits and at least five cases of wine.

And it came just two days after burglars had smashed their way through a rear heavy-duty door to steal a till containing cash.

Criminals forced their way through a locked front entrance before making their way into the kitchen and ripping off cupboard doors. Photo: Liz BrownCriminals forced their way through a locked front entrance before making their way into the kitchen and ripping off cupboard doors. Photo: Liz Brown

It left the club facing a bill for thousands of pounds.

But the club now has a new CCTV camera system and sponsorship, courtesy of David Wilson Homes.

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Greg Chappell, an estimator for David Wilson Homes Eastern Counties and an ex-member of the sports club, had raised the issue with his bosses to see if they could offer a helping hand.

Andy Pullinger, former club president of Lakenham Hewett Rugby Club, said: "The break-in at the club caused awful damage to the property and a disruption of day to day usage, including the sporting schedule.

"The offer to support us from David Wilson Homes was extremely uplifting after the shock of events.

"We run solely and completely on voluntary work from our members and this put an enormous strain on the whole club.

"The developer truly rallied to our side and gave us a renewed strength to repair the club house and lift broken spirits; we are extremely grateful for all its help and cannot thank them enough."

Annette Hurst, sales director at David Wilson Homes Eastern Counties, said: "We were incredibly saddened to hear about the break in at Lakenham Hewett and were determined to offer our help.

"We would like to thank Greg for bringing the issue to our attention and are delighted that we could provide a new security system for the club and help put their members' minds at ease.

"We wish the club and its teams all the best with their future matches and we can't wait to see them in action this season."

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