A SCHOOL caretaker has admitted trespassed on an Evesham school grounds and taking its minibus, driving it when he was disqualified.

Kim Roberts was sacked by Blackminster Middle School just days before his appearance at Worcester Magistrates Court last Thursday.

Nichola Ritchie, prosecuting, told magistrates police were originally called when damage to a door frame was found at the South Littleton school. Miss Ritchie explained it emerged that the offender was in fact the school caretaker who had entered the premises overnight sometime between January 21 and January 7, and on January 30 he went into the school without permission, taking the minibus keys and driving it when he was disqualified and not insured.

Miss Ritchie said: “He admitted taking the minibus when he was taken into custody. In police interview he gave frank admissions to the offences.”

She added his previous offences included drink driving, which had led to him being disqualified from driving.

Chris Hilton, defending, said as Roberts lived on the school site, having been dismissed meant he had been given until the end of February to find new accommodation. On the offences, Mr Hilton said he had entered the building and forced entry into his office to retrieve documents, taking the keys and driving the minibus as he wanted to go to another village “to get provisions”.

Mr Hilton said the 62-year-old had loved the job he had now lost, and prior to the offences Roberts had been suffering as his wife had left him, bringing to an end 45 years of marriage.

“In effect he now has to start (his life) from scratch, and that is very daunting for someone his age,” Mr Hilton said.

“He acknowledges the court has to punish him.”

He added Roberts should be given credit for his early guilty pleas.

A probation report found Roberts had failed to attend two rehabilitation sessions given to him as part of a previous community order, with breach action now in progress. The report also found Roberts had a problem with alcohol which he was taking steps to address.

Magistrates gave Roberts an 18 month community order with 30 rehabilitation days, and 150 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £185 and a victim surcharge of £85 - a total of £270. For driving while disqualified he was given six points on his licence and reminded he has 46 months still to serve on his ban. There was no separate penalty for driving with no insurance.

Chairman of the magistrates bench Wendy Coggan warned Roberts he must attend the sessions given to him for the orders, or he would be brought back to court and “will end up in prison.”