The trial of a 27 year-old accused of burglary at a Walthamstow primary school fell through at Wood Green Crown Court last week

Man accused of £250k school raid to be re-tried

Man accused of £250k school raid to be re-tried

First published in News 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 new trial date has been set for a man accused of being involved in a sophisticated school raid. 

Jason Hardcastle, of Withy Mead in Chingford, appeared via prison video link at Wood Green Crown Court on June 13 after pleading not guilty to burglary and handling stolen goods.

The 27 year-old was the only person to be arrested and charged in connection with the raid at Hillyfield Academy despite CCTV images released earlier this year showing several suspects inside the school.

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

The jury were unable to reach a verdict during the five day trial, so Hardcastle will now be re-tried at the same court on August 26. 

One count of handling stolen goods has also been squashed, a court clerk confirmed.

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 re-trial. 


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