Burglar targeted Leeds city centre flats

Vijay Ram.

Vijay Ram.

A burglar has been locked up for more than two years after he targeted a Leeds city centre apartment block.

A court heard how a resident was terrified as Vijay Ram tried to kick down the door of a flat at Britannia House while the man who lived there was inside.

Ram, 32, managed to gain entry to the complex on York Place on July 6 this year and tried to force down the door.

Louise Pryke, prosecuting, said the resident looked through the door spy hole as Ram tried to get inside.

Ram eventually abandoned his attempt before going down to the basement area.

He managed to convince another resident that he had just moved in and persuaded him to give him the key code to the laundry room.

Ram then used a screwdriver to open the coin slots on the washing machines before leaving with the cash.

The owners of the building managed to obtain a CCTV image of Ram and issued a wanted poster. Ram, of no fixed address, saw himself on the poster when he tried to return to the flats and handed himself in. Ram pleaded guilty to burglary and attempted burglary. He has previous convictions for burglary and other dishonesty offences.

Keith Whitehouse, mitigating, said Ram committed the offences out of desperation because he had no money and nowhere to live.

Mr Whitehouse said Ram had managed to obtain some work on short-term, zero hours contracts upon leaving prison but employers soon got rid of him after finding out about his criminal past. Ram was jailed for two years, four months. Recorder Simon Eckersley said: “This was an attack on the home of the complainant when he was present. He was on the other side of the door watching what was taking place as you were doing it.

“One can only imagine his feelings knowing that someone was trying to break in.

“It must have been utterly terrifying.”

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