Leeds burglar jailed over theft of stamp collection

Andrew Wheelhouse was jailed for two years and four months over the burglary in Leeds.
Andrew Wheelhouse was jailed for two years and four months over the burglary in Leeds.

A career burglar has been returned to jailed after forcing his way into a house in Leeds and stealing a stamp collection.

Andrew Wheelhouse was given a sentence of two years, four months over the offence at the property on Hesketh Avenue, Kirkstall, some time between September 2 and October 2 this year.

Carmel Pearson, prosecuting, said the property was unoccupied at the time as the owner was in the process of moving.

Wheelhouse climbed up a drain pipe and forced a window to get into an upstairs room.

The 30-year-old stole a safe containing a stamp collection and other documents along with a television.

Miss Pearson said Wheelhouse’s fingerprints were found inside the property and he was arrested.

The prosecutor said the television was worth £400 but the value of the other items was unclear.

Wheelhouse, of no fixed address, denied the offence when he was first arrested and initially refused to answer any questions when interviewed.

Wheelhouse then claimed he could not remember committing the offence and used different properties to sleep in.

He pleaded guilty to burglary.

The court heard he has 30 previous convictions for 50 offences and is classed as a ‘third strike’ burglar.

Wheelhouse also has convictions for violence.

Richard Reed, mitigating, said his client had pleaded guilty to the offence at the first opportunity.

Mr Reed said Wheelhouse had not committed an offence of burglary for 12 years but accepted that he must receive a minimum term in custody because of his previous offending.

Jailing Wheelhouse, judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “This must have caused enormous distress for the householder.

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