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Norwich arts centre safe raider speaks of his regret

PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:40 02 July 2010

Norwich Arts Centre.

Norwich Arts Centre.

David Bale

A thief who raided the safe at Norwich Arts Centre where he worked as a cleaner and stole £10,000 in cash today apologised for his actions.

A thief who left the Norwich Arts Centre facing a financial crisis after stealing £10,000 from a safe today spoke of his regret at his actions.

Terence Reid contacted the Evening News to say how he wanted to make amends to the popular music and arts venue by raising cash for it from a sponsored cycle ride.

As revealed by the Evening News on Friday, the registered charity has been left £7,200 out of pocket because only £2,800 was recovered. Reid, 34, claims he left the rest on a train.

The lost cash is not covered by insurance because Reid, work worked at nights, had a key to the venue and the centre may now have to make redundancies to cover the shortfall.

Reid said today: “I feel really bad about what I did and I want to make up for it by holding a charity event for the arts centre.

“I know what I did was wrong and I'm very sorry for doing it.

“I would like to do a sponsored cycle ride in about a month's time, and am looking for help in setting up the sponsorship forms.”

Arts centre director Stuart Hobday said he was grateful for Reid's offer, but would like to meet him face to face before a deal was struck.

Mr Hobday, who previously described the loss as the “last thing we needed”, said: “It's a strange situation, but we are grateful for Terry coming forward and offering to help recoup some of the money we have lost.

“We'll be happy to consider any ideas he has that may help plug the hole in our finances that we have been left with.”

As reported, Reid was handed a 26-week prison term, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to complete 200 hours' unpaid work when he appeared at Norwich Crown Court last Thursday. He must pay back £240 in compensation over the next year.

The venue in St Benedict's Street has been providing entertainment for more than three decades, but has suffered in the recession with takings down 10pc in the last 12 months. Two members of staff were made redundant in January leaving just three full-time employees.

The court heard last week that the theft was discovered on January 25.

Reid's barrister said his client, from Goodhale Road, Bowthorpe, suffered from a gambling addiction and had recently sought help.

Anyone who wants to donate money to the arts centre should call 01603 660387. For box office sales or listing information call 01603 660352 or go to www.norwichartscentre.co.uk.

Has you been left thousands of pounds out of pocket because of crime? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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