Burglar's 'great escape' from Leeds police station

A burglar who escaped from a police station after being arrested for stealing £2,000 worth of property from a student flat has been jailed for three years.

Robert McNulty, 25, broke into the house on Grosvenor Road, Headingley, over the Christmas period and stole an Xbox, two laptops, a digital camera and cash.

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He was arrested on January 12 after blood found at the scene was identified as being his.

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Officers took McNulty to Stainbeck police station in Leeds where he admitted the burglary.

Leeds Crown Court heard McNulty was then left unattended in the custody cell area of the station.

Alisha Kaye, prosecuting, said McNulty managed to leave after pressing a buzzer and the door was opened for him.

He was arrested again five days later when police went to an address in

Beeston.

McNulty told officers he had escaped as he knew he was going to be recalled to prison on licence and "wanted to sort things out" with his partner.

The court heard McNulty has three previous offences for burglary.

He had been released on licence last July from a five-year jail sentence.

McNulty, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to burglary and escaping custody.

Michael Miller, mitigating, said McNulty had returned to live with his long-term partner and their child after leaving prison but their home had been burgled and she no longer felt safe at the address.

His partner went to live with her parents but he was not welcome and was forced into leading a "chaotic" life on benefits.

Describing the incident at the police station, Mr Miller said: "It was hardly the great escape."

He added McNulty was able to walk out in full view of everyone at the station.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier, jailed McNulty for 32 months for theft, plus four months, consecutive, for the escape.

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