A teenager has been warned by a judge that he is at risk of going to custody after he admitted his part in “mindless vandalism” that desecrated a church.

Muhammed Mughal, 18, appeared at Bradford Crown Court yesterday charged with entering All Saints Church, Highfield Lane, Keighley, as a trespasser on December 3 last year with intent to do unlawful damage.

Mughal, of Cliffe Street, Keighley, pleaded guilty to the alternative offence of causing criminal damage to the church and that was accepted by the prosecution.

His barrister, Peter Byrne, said the teenager had no previous convictions and urged the court to adjourn the case for a pre-sentence report from the probation service.

Mr Byrne conceded that Mughal and the others in the group, who got into the building through an insecure fire door, had committed “mindless vandalism.”

The damage included daubing graffiti on the walls, damaging doors, breaking windows and letting off fire extinguishers. A machete the intruders found in the church kitchen was used in course of the offence.

Mr Byrne said Mughal had been on a college course last year, but health problems had force him to leave his studies.

Prosecutor Philip Adams said that the vicar, the Rev Jonathan Pritchard, wanted some form of restorative justice from those responsible. He was keen to sit down with the perpetrators to discuss their crime.

Judge Jonathan Rose adjourned sentence until October 15.

He said that Mughal and his associates had done “inexplicable and appalling damage.”

He extended the teenager’s bail but warned: “You are at risk of going to custody.”

Judge Rose told Mughal he must co-operate with the probation office in the preparation of their report.

“This court takes an extremely dim view of those who desecrate a place of worship,” he said.