Leeds burglar returned to jail over latest crime spree

Neil Poole.

Neil Poole.

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A CAREER burglar has been returned to jail for his latest spree of offences in which he targeted homes in south Leeds.

A court heard how a five-year-old boy awoke to find his home had been ransacked after Neil Poole targeted the property on Firth Grove, Beeston.

Leeds Crown Court heard Poole climbed through a kitchen window in the middle of the night as a mum and her two children were asleep upstairs.

One of the youngsters awoke and went downstairs to get something to eat and found the kitchen cupboards and drawers open before telling his mum.

Poole was linked to the offence by footprints left at the scene, on August 15 this year.

Poole then broke into a house on Grove Hall Avenue, Beeston, two days later.

The owner of the property was in bed when Poole gained entry. He stole two large flat screen televisions, two bottles of spirits and keys to a Mitsubishi car parked outside.

Poole then drove off in the vehicle, which has never been recovered.

The incident was captured on CCTV installed at the property and Poole was recognised when a police officer was shown the footage.

He was arrested the next day when officers spotted him as he walked along Hunslet Hall Road.

Poole tried to hide behind parked cars but was seen and caught after a short chase.

He initially refused to comment in interview but pleaded guilty to two offences of burglary.

The court heard Poole, of Colenso Mount, Beeston, has a history of burglary offences dating back to the 1980s.

Stephen Smithson, mitigating, said the offences were committed shortly after he was released from prison on licence for other burglary offences.

He said his client struggled to cope when released as he had spent so much time in custody. Describing the offences, he said: “It was almost a voice that said ‘I can’t cope outside.’”

The Recorder of Leeds, judge Peter Collier, QC, jailed Poole for three years, nine months.

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