A BURGLAR lied to a jury that he had been trying to kill himself when went on trial accused of breaking into a house in Leeds.
Kriss Jackson, 35, was jailed for two years after jurors rejected his account and found him guilty of breaking into the property on Cornstone Fold, Farnley.
Leeds Crown Court heard Jackson was part of a group of other men who targeted the property on June 20 last year while the family who lived there were on holiday.
The burglars forced their way into a shed and stole drills worth £700.
Neighbours contacted the police when the men went into the house and the burglar alarm was activated.
Officers searched the area and Jackson was found hiding in undergrowth nearby.
He told officers they would not be able to fond his accomplices as they had “long gone”.Jackson denied the offence of burglary and claimed he had been trying to kill himself at the time of the offence, which accounted for him possessing a tool kit when he was arrested.
He was unanimously found guilty. The court heard Jackson has a number of previous convictions.
Jackson served a three and a half year jail sentence imposed in 2001 for burglary .
Alistair McDonald, mitigating, said Jackson had suffered mental health problems as a result of his addiction to heroin.
Jailing Jackson, judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said the offence was aggravated because it was committed at night and Jackson was part of a group who targeted the property and had gone equipped to burgle the property.
He told Jackson that the sentence would have to reflect the fact that Jackson took the matter to trial and did not have the benefit of an early guilty plea.
He said “Burglary is a blight in Leeds.
“Residents in Leeds are more likely to be burgled than any other resident of an other local authority area. The number of people such as you who burgle houses in Leeds is great.
“Your activities and the activities of those like you have a significant impact on the well being of residents.
“People become afraid to leave their properties because people like you will enter them and steal from them when they are away.
“The impact on the community of such offending is high.”