Cumbria Crack

Man breached punishment for burgling drug lords’ Eden Valley mansion

Carlisle Crown Court

[A] MAN sentenced for burgling an Eden Valley mansion which was also used by “drug lords” has been brought back to court for flouting a judge’s order.

Ben Hopkinson, 24, was told to complete unpaid work earlier this year after he admitted breaking into Flass House, Maulds Meaburn, during 2011 or 2012. He had stolen a microphone from the Grade II listed property, while a partner-in-crime pinched a clock.

Flass House had also been used by members of a criminal gang as their headquarters while involved in a £5 million cannabis supply ring.

Due to its notoriety, so-called “urban explorers” later targeted the building and uploaded footage of their visits to social media. It was when comments were posted online in response to these clips that Hopkinson’s burglary and theft was exposed.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that on March 4 he failed to attend an unpaid work session, and didn’t provide a timely explanation. After he admitted breaching his order, Hopkinson, of Edenhall, near Penrith, was handed 14 extra hours and must pay £150 costs.

Recorder David Potter heard the probation service had concluded that Hopkinson needed to “pull his socks up” and continue with the community order.

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