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  1. ITV Report

Thief jailed for stealing giant elf from church

A thief has been jailed for stealing a giant elf from a church.

Sam Smith, 24, took the 3ft high festive elf along with tinsel and fairy lights after breaking into the village church in Llyswen, Powys.

Credit: Wales News Service

A court heard Smith and a girlfriend used bolt cutters and a pickaxe to get into St Gwendoline's Church to wreck its festive display.

The elves were reunited by police Credit: Wales News Service

The pair were seen by estate manager Gavin Hogg as they were leaving the church in the village in Mid Wales - but told him that they been "inside the church to pray".

Magistrates were told Mr Hogg informed the church warden who in turn called police who found Smith in his car.

Prosecutor Steve Davies said when police stopped Smith's car and opened the boot they found the giant elf - worth £200 - staring back at them.

Mr Davies said: "The car was stopped and a yellow axe and bolt croppers were located in the vehicle.

"Upon a full search of the car a large elf ornament was found, along with other Christmas decorations in a clear grip bag."

Smith pleaded guilty to theft, attempted theft and going equipped for theft, as well as driving while disqualified and driving without insurance at Brecon magistrates. His girlfriend wasn't charged.

Smith, of Mayhill, Swansea, was jailed eight months and ordered to pay £20 compensation. He was also banned from driving for 12 months.