A pair of burglars who ransacked a teacher’s house in broad daylight were caught after they were spotted by an eagle-eyed workman.
Anthony Backhouse and Jamie Ridgway were both jailed yesterday (March 14) after pleading guilty to raiding the house on Meadow Road, Garforth on March 6.
Prosecutor Carmel Pearson told Leeds Crown Court both men went to the house at around 11am and were seen by a workman who was working on the house nextdoor.
She said: “He saw two men leaving from the back of the property, walking on the drive towards a parked car.”
When the men had left, the workman went to the back of the house and saw the rear patio doors had been smashed. He contacted police and gave them a partial licence plate for the car the burglars had left in.
Officers quickly located the car and, after a short chase, Backhouse, Ridgway and a third man who has not been identified, fled the vehicle on foot, leaving property they had stolen from the house strewn behind them.
Police caught up with Backhouse and Ridgway and arrested them, finding some of the stolen property in the boot of the car.
Among the items stolen were laptop computers, a games console, cameras, mobile phones, and jewellery – including a gold ring which was found in Backhouse’s pocket when he was arrested.
Also taken was cash from a bedroom, which the owner’s son had been saving for a holiday, and pillowcases which were used to carry the stolen property, the court heard.
The court was told that Backhouse, 29, of Noel Crescent, Harehills, has a string of previous convictions including burglary and criminal damage.
Mitigating for him, Adrian Pollard said: “He accepts that it must have been upsetting for the occupant.”
Ridway, 26, of Willow Grove, Kippax, committed his first burglary before he was 12, the court was told, and also has a number of similar convictions.
Ian Cook, for Ridgway, said: “It is with considerable disappointment in himself that he finds himself committing a further burglary.”
Jailing both men for 28 months each, Recorder of Leeds Peter Collier QC said: “You set about ransacking the rooms, you did so to a considerable degree and the effect of that has been to cause considerable distress.”