A trial date has been set for a Chingford man charged with burglary at Walthamstow school and receiving stolen goods

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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Chingford, Highams Park and Woodford. Call me on 07795 476 625

A trial date has been set for a man accused of being involved in a raid on a primary school. 

Jason Hardcastle, of Withy Mead in Chingford, appeared via prison video link at Wood Green Crown Court yesterday.

The 27-year-old pleaded not guilty to one charge of burglary and receiving stolen goods.

He is the only person to be arrested and charged in connection with the raid despite CCTV images released earlier this year showing several suspects inside the school.

The group of burglars broke into Hillyfield Academy in Higham Hill Road, Walthamstow, over two nights on December 27 and 28.

The retail value of the 700 iPads and 25 iMacs stolen is estimated at £250,000, and none of the stolen property has yet been recovered, police say. 

Staff at the school did not discover the break-in until the caretaker returned to work four days after the burglary in early January.

Police were called to the scene at 5:30am on January 2 and established that the alarm system had been deactivated before thieves forced entry to the building.

Hardcastle has been remanded in custody ahead of the trial at Wood Green Crown Court on June 9. 

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