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.
Married: Bride-to-be Bridie Sparks, left, approached the owner of the Bacup Hub and told how her and Christopher Richards were struggling with money. A man from the wedding party is pictured right
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.
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.
‘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.’
She had hoped the crime had been committed by someone outside of the community, she told Manchester Evening News – but instead it was by people she had trusted and helped.
The couple wed at the venue in August last year.
Richards and Taylor will be sentenced at Burnley Crown Court next month.
Raided: The owner of this leisure hall in Bacup was left with a £60,000 bill following the burglary