A burglar who was part of a gang who broke into a dying man’s home and stole his television set has been given a suspended prison sentence.
A court heard burglars targeted the home of the 78-year-old man in Beeston, Leeds, after he was admitted to hospital in October last year.
The break-in took place at the house on Coupland Road on December 13 last year when a tool was used to force a window open.
Paul Skyes, 43, was arrested in connection with the offence a month later
Michael Jowett, prosecuting, said one of Sykes’s accomplices was caught red handed immediately after the break-in.
The court heard a woman who knew the two burglars had befriended the elderly victim shortly before he was admitted to hospital.
Mr Jowett said the elderly man died on February 5 this year.
Sykes, of Longroyd Place, Beeston, admitted his involvement in the offence soon after his arrest. He pleaded guilty to burglary.
The court heard Sykes has a number of criminal convictions dating back to the 1980s and 1990s but had not been in trouble for almost 20 years.
Martin Morrow, mitigating, said Sykes was full of remorse for what he had done and that the offence was linked to his drink problem.
He said: “It is a very unpleasant offence and it is made more upsetting by the fact that the complainant is deceased.
“At no stage did Mr Sykes know that he was dead.”
Sykes was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to take part in a six-month alcohol treatment programme.
He was also ordered to do 160 hours unpaid work.
Judge Neil Clark said: “You are genuinely sorry that you got yourself involved in this and regret it very much.”