Leeds householder chased and caught burglar after finding him in his kitchen

editorial image

A householder who found a burglar in his kitchen managed to catch him outside and detain him until police arrived.

Phillip Mawson was watching television with his wife in the living room of his home in Lane End, Pudsey, with his children upstairs, on the evening of March 5, when he noticed something out of the corner of his eye.

Beverley Tait prosecuting told Leeds Crown Court he went to investigate and found Damien Steven Atkinson in the kitchen.

The burglar immediately fled but Mr Mawson taking a quicker route outside managed to catch up to Atkinson who was on a bike.

He asked him what he was doing and Atkinson claimed he had got the wrong house.

He said he had been looking for a man who owed him money and thought he lived there.

He began to struggle when Mr Mawson took hold of him but he was helped by his father-in-law who lived nearby and they kept him there until the police arrived. Laptops and a phone had been removed from the property but were recovered outside.

When he was arrested Atkinson admitted: “I was in there pinching.” Miss Tait said Mrs Mawson, who had phoned the police while her husband went outside, said she was fearful what might have happened to him in the confrontation and did not feel safe in her home any more.

Atkinson had 24 convictions for 44 offences including numerous burglaries.

Stuart Field representing him said after his last release from custody in December 2014 he had volunteered to wear a tracking device which he felt had helped stay out of trouble.

That had only been removed three days before the burglary which he had committed after he had rowed with his girlfriend and she had thrown him out of the house.

He was looking for somewhere to sleep and saw some throws through the window of the property concerned. He planned to steal them to keep himself warm but saw the electrical items when he walked inside and was tempted.

“He regrets deeply the commission of this offence, he came off the worse in the confrontation.”

Atkinson, 35 of Wellstone Garth, Swinnow, Leeds admitted the burglary and was jailed for 32 months.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC said with the help of the tracker system “You may be able to survive longer next time.”

Jamie Sharlotte.

Leeds sex predator given 12-year sentence over street attacks on women