Car stolen in Leeds house burglary used in raid on shop

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A BURGLAR stole an Audi A4 from a house in Roundhay and used it to transport £7,000 worth of cigarettes he plundered during a raid on a store in Oakwood.

James McGrath and an accomplice stole the keys for the £7,000 Audi after reaching in through an open kitchen window of the house on Shaftesbury Avenue, Roundhay, overnight on July 25.

Later the same night, McGrath, 24, and another man used a pick axe and a scaffolding pole to break through metal shutters at the Londis store on Dibb Lane, Oakwood, before stealing cigarettes worth £7,000.

Prosecutor, Michael Greenhalgh said McGrath, of Strathmore Street, Harehills, was captured on CCTV getting out of the Audi on Dibb Lane before breaking into the Londis store.

Mr Greenhalgh added: “The defendant climbed in the shop and used a large builder’s sack to steal £7,000 of cigarettes from behind the counter.”

When police arrested McGrath at his home on July 28 they found a small amount of cannabis in his bedroom and a pair of binoculars which had been stolen in a burglary at a house in Oakwell Avenue, Leeds in late July.

Mr Greenhalgh said McGrath told police he sold the cigarettes “cheaply” from his house.

McGrath, who has no previous criminal convictions, admitted two charges of burglary, handling stolen goods and possessing cannabis.

His lawyer, Kenton Sargent, said: “He’s not the sharpest tool in the box.”

Mr Sargent added: “When interviewed he gave a complete description of his involvement in the offences.

“He has had a difficult life, including a difficult relationship with his family.”

Judge Peter Benson handed McGrath an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years and a 12 month community order with 200 hours unpaid work.

Judge Benson told him: “You are 24-years-of-age and you have no previous convictions, which makes it surprising to me that you should suddenly appear before the crown court on your first court appearance, having pleaded guilty to what are very serious offences.

“Having obtained the Audi, you and your co-accused equipped yourself with a pick axe and a scaffolding pole and used it go break into a convenience store and helped yourself to a significant quantity of cigarettes.”

Sarah Sordy of Mars Petcare in Birstall

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