A Leeds burglar and his girlfriend were planning a lavish wedding at a Yorkshire stately home funded by the proceeds of their crimes.
Ben Catterill and his partner Katie Henderson had been shown around Castle Howard, near York, while planning the wedding estimated to cost at least £30,000.
Despite having no legitimate income, the couple chose the venue’s most expensive package and paid more than £5,000 in deposits for the event which was originally scheduled to take place in September last year.
Their plans included a ceremony in the castle’s Great Hall with a string quartet followed by a reception with canapés, three-course meal and drinks for about 60 guests at £140 a head.
They visited the castle again for menu tasting sessions and gave details of a designer florist they planned to use.
But what the venue’s staff didn’t know was that the pair were planning to fund their big day with the proceeds of burglaries at homes in affluent parts of the Leeds.
The couple’s life of crime came crashing down when they had an argument and Henderson called the police to say that her partner had been “bragging about doing burglaries on Millionaire’s row”
The YEP can now reveal that Catterill went on to have an affair with a prison worker while he was being held on remand at Armley jail in Leeds.
Read more about Catterill’s affair with a prison worker and his unprovoked attack in a Leeds pub.
An investigation uncovered evidence that linked the pair to burglaries in Alwoodley, Tinshill and Farsley.
Their mobile phones were seized and incriminating text messages were found with Catterill making repeated references to “grafting” – a slang term for burglary – and the pair discussing the sale of £4,000 worth of gold jewellery and discussing holidays.
They also found a text exchange between the pair as they argued as Catterill was at the scene of one of the burglaries.
Other enquiries showed they had been on a number of expensive holidays and lived a luxury lifestyle without any legitimate source of income.
Photos were found on Henderson’s phone of luxury items stolen in the burglaries, including Louis Vuitton bags and a diamond ring.
Catterill pleaded guilty to two burglary dwellings at addresses in the Tinshill and Alwoodley area of Leeds.
He was also found guilty of a further offence of burglary and aggravated vehicle taking following a trial.
CCTV footage showed him arriving to commit a burglary in Alwoodley in a vehicle stolen in Farsley only one hour before.
After he dumped the stolen vehicle, he was pursued by officers in his own vehicle and found in possession of screwdrivers, gloves, balaclavas and stolen goods.
An examination of his mobile phone uncovered videos of Catterill wearing a distinctive Lewis Hamilton Tag Heuer watch that had been stolen in the burglary in Tinshill.
The phone itself was later found to have been stolen in the burglary at Alwoodley.
Catterill, aged 32, of Victoria Avenue, Yeadon, was jailed for six years.
The couple were sentenced in June this year but the case could not be reported as Catterill faced charges in relation to his affair in prison and a trial for assaulting a man in a pub in Horsforth.
His partner Katie Henderson, 29, Murray Drive, Middleton, was convicted of handling stolen goods and was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 300 hours of unpaid work.
Detective Inspector Neil Thompson, of Leeds District Crime Team, said: “The lavish lifestyle that Catterill and Henderson were living came at a very high human price for the burglary victims who had to suffer the indignity of having their homes invaded and their hard-earned possessions stolen.
“This couple’s extravagant plans for a luxury wedding and the matter of fact way in which they discussed committing crimes by text message shows a complete disregard for the impact of these offences on the victims.
“They were brought to justice as a result of a thorough and detailed investigation which uncovered clear evidence linking them to the crimes.
“Burglars like Catterill who prey on those who earn their income legitimately are beneath contempt and we will continue to use all available tactics to target others like him and protect the public from them.”