Leeds cinema-goer spotted trying to break into house

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A cinema goer who was spotted trying to break into homes on the same street as a historic Leeds picture house was arrested after being recognised by members of staff.

Anthony Breen was caught targeting homes near to Cottage Road Cinema, Headingley, in April this year.

Police were alerted by two members of staff who were having a cigarette break outside the cinema and saw Breen acting suspiciously.

They recognised Breen as he was a regular visitor to the cinema.

Leeds Crown Court heard they saw Breen creep into the back yard of a house near to the cinema.

The workers were so concerned that they went to the property and alerted the home owner, who was in the house with her brother. It was later discovered that Breen had used a screw driver to try to force to the door lock. His finger prints were also discovered on the door.

After the unsuccessful attempt to get in, he was seen approaching other properties on Cottage Road and attempting to open doors.

Police arrested him at the scene and found a screwdriver in a bag he had been carrying.

Breen was interviewed about the incident and denied doing anything wrong.

He told officers he had been knocking on doors and ringing front doorbells because he thought it would be fun. He later pleaded guilty to attempted burglary.

The court heard Breen has a long criminal record for domestic burglary and has already served a three-year prison sentence, imposed in 2011, for being a ’third-strike’ domestic burglar.

He was given a 21 month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Nicholas Hammond, mitigating, said Breen had made good progress since being released from prison.

He added that Breen had offended again after a relationship breakdown.

Breen was also made the subject of a six-month curfew order and told he must take part in a 30-day activity programme designed to address his offending behaviour.

Recorder Mark McKone said: “Had you got inside that property you would have been subject to a minimum three-year term again.”

Headingley Hill Congregational Church on Headingley Lane. . Picture Tony Johnson.

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