Groom and usher in 60,000 masked raid on wedding venue after owner gave couple half-price discount on reception

Groom raided his OWN wedding venue in 60,000 masked raid after owner even gave couple half-price discountCatherine Murphy gave hard-up couple a half price champagne buffetBut bridegroom Christopher
Richards returned to steal from premisesCCTV cameras captured gang stealing cash, champagne, beer and wine They also smashed doors and ripped cabinets off walls during 10-hour raid

By
Anthony Bond

PUBLISHED:

10:54 GMT, 2 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:09 GMT, 2 February 2013

When a wedding reception organiser decided to help out two hard-up friends by laying on a half price champagne buffet, the least she could have expected was a thank you.

Instead, the bridegroom decided to repay the kindness by vandalising and stealing from the venue – leaving the owner with a 60,000 bill.

Catherine Murphy, 34, decided to help out hard up Bridie Sparks, 26, and her husband to be Christopher Richards, by laying on the half-price champagne buffet for 90 guests.

Sickening: Bridegroom Christopher Richards, pictured front, was given a half-price discounted buffet at his wedding reception.

Sickening: Christopher Richards, pictured front, was given a half-price discounted buffet at his wedding reception. But he repayed the kindness of the owner by carrying out a late night raid at the venue, pictured

Callous: This is the moment Christopher Richards and five others stole 20,000 worth of good and caused 40,000 of damage to the venue which hosted Richards' wedding reception

Callous: One of the men with Christopher Richards is pictured during the raid in which the gang stole 20,000 worth of goods and caused 40,000 of damage

Nasty: An ungrateful Richards, pictured right, searches for items behind the bar at the venue which hosted his wedding reception

Nasty: An ungrateful Richards, pictured right, searches for items behind the bar at the venue which hosted his wedding reception

The bride-to-be had approached the owner of the Bacup Hub in Lancashire in tears, and explained how the couple would be unable to get married because they did not have enough money.

But after Ms Murphy decided to put on the discounted reception, unemployed Richards, 25, and his usher George Taylor, 23, returned to the venue and carried out a sickening late night raid.

CCTV cameras captured the ungrateful pair, along with four others, stealing cash, champagne, beer and wine from the community centre venue last month.

During the 10-hour raid, the gang also smashed doors and ripped cabinets off walls.

Raided: The owner of this leisure hall in Bacup was left with a 60,000 bill following the burglary

Raided: The owner of this leisure hall in Bacup was left with a 60,000 bill following the burglary

After appearing before magistrates in Burnley, both Richards and Taylor admitted burglary.

Speaking
to the Daily Express, a sickened Ms Murphy, an accountant, said: 'I
have been deeply hurt because I considered the couple to be my friends.

'I have been deeply hurt because I considered the couple to be my friends'

– Venue owner Catherine Murphy

'They had very little money so I went out of my way to make sure they had the wedding they wanted with a red carpet, buffet and champagne and I have been slapped in the face by people I thought were friends.

'I let Chris have use of the premises for nothing and this has revealed just what sort of person he is.'

The couple wed at the venue in August last year. Richards and Taylor will be sentenced at Burnley Crown Court next month.

Vandals: Three members of the gang are pictured inside the community centre. Catherine Murphy, who owns the centre, said she was 'deeply hurt'

Vandals: Three members of the gang are pictured inside the community centre. Catherine Murphy, who owns the centre, said she was 'deeply hurt'

Shocking: CCTV cameras captured the gang stealing cash, champagne, beer and wine from the community centre venue last month

Shocking: CCTV cameras captured the gang stealing cash, champagne, beer and wine from the community centre venue last month

Costly: The gang caused extensive damage inside the premises during the raid

Costly: The gang caused extensive damage inside the premises during the raid