Jail for bungling Leeds knicker shop burglar

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A prolific burglar who botched a daylight raid on a Leeds lingerie shop hours after he stole £1,800 of equipment from a city centre church has been jailed for three years.

Leeds Crown Court heard Lee Waterston, 35, walked into a private staff area at the back of Victoria’s Secret lingerie shop in the Trinity Centre in Leeds city centre in the afternoon of June 17.

Prosecutor, James Lake, said: “He was disturbed because he hid in a disabled toilet at the back of the shop.

“A member of staff opened the toilet door. The defendant said he was using the facilities.

“He came out of the toilet and rummaged around in stock at the back of the shop and left without taking anything.”

Mr Lake said Waterston, of Scargill Grange, Burmantofts, Leeds, had raided the World of Life Church in Mabgate, Leeds, earlier that day.

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Waterston got into the church just after 4am before stealing a keyboard, laptop computer and two microphones worth a total of £1,800.

Waterston, who admitted carrying out five commercial burglaries between April and June this year, has 22 previous convictions for 49 offences, including theft and burglary.

The court heard a cleaner heard someone walking around the building at West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds city centre just after 5.30am on June 18.

Waterston had broken in to an office at the theatre, causing damage to an internal door, before leaving empty-handed.

Just after 4.30pm on April 15, Waterston walked into the St John Ambulance offices in St Andrew’s House on The Headrow.

He broke into a training room, causing £300 damage before leaving with nothing.

Waterston was captured on CCTV entering an office block on Park Row in the early hours of April 12. Nothing was taken, but a lock to a room in the offices was damaged. Mitigating, Mark Pritchard said Waterston was a drug user and committed the crimes in an effort to support his partner. Jailing Waterson for three years, Recorder Sophie Drake told him: “In a period between April and June this year you committed five burglaries in the city centre. You say you don’t remember any of the offences because you were under the influence of drugs at the time.” Recorder Drake added: “You are a prolific burglar who has offended as a youth and an adult.”

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