Youth inspired to trespass abandoned Derbyshire care home by YouTube

A youth caught trespassing in an abandoned Derbyshire care home after travelling from Wolverhampton claimed to have been inspired by an urban explorer YouTube video.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 8:37 pm

Sam Broadway, 22, was seen inside the boiler room at Victorian Alfreton building The Glebe - dating back to 1850 - during an inspection of the site by council employees.

Chesterfield Magistrates Court heard Broadway and two other defendants had travelled from the West Midlands after seeing a video showing its dilapidated interior on YouTube.

Council workers were touring the building in advance of a planned renovation when they noticed a window had been prised open.

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The Glebe in Alfreton
The Glebe in Alfreton

A hole had been cut into the boiler room door and police officers later found Broadway lying on the floor behind the boiler.

Prosecutor Lynne Bickley described how insulation covering copper piping inside the room had been torn off.

Broadway was charged with Vagrancy Act charge “being in an enclosed premises for an unlawful purpose” - which dates back to 1824 and is older than the building.

District Judge Andrew Davison told the defendant: “It’s a long trek from Wolverhampton to come to a disused building.”

Speaking about the charge he said: “This is an 1824 Act and many people think it’s time it was modernised but the offence is there and your behaviour fits it.”

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The court heard Broadway had previous convictions for aggravated vehicle taking, theft and criminal damage.

His solicitor Nigel Ford noted the building had been abandoned for some time before Broadway was caught inside on April 8 and he had no vehicle with him at the time.

However he said the defendant accepted the charge and if he had “come across anything he would have taken something”.

Mr Ford said: “There’s a growing trend for people going into abandoned properties and filming them there.”

Although he admitted: “It’s not something I would have personally been travelling from Wolverhampton to Derbyshire for.”

Broadway, of Mountbatten Road, Walsall, admitted the charge and was fined £100, made to pay £85 court costs and £34 victim surcharge.

The 30-bedroom Derbyshire County Council-operated Glebe care home closed in 2016 despite much local opposition.

It was sold at auction for £450,000 in 2019 and now 17 supported-living apartments are planned.

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