Leeds siblings burgled to feed their drug habit

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A BROTHER and sister carried out a series of burglaries in a Leeds community to fund their drug habits, a court heard.

Zoe and Ashley Thewlis targeted six homes in the Longroyds area of Beeston over a week-long period.

Mother-of-three Zoe, 23, described as the “ringleader”, was jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to two offences of burglary and asked for four further similar offences to be taken into consideration.

Her brother Ashley, 20, was handed a community punishment order which included a three month curfew period and a exclusion order banning him from every street in Leeds that has the name ‘Longroyd’ in it. He admitted two offences of burglary and asked for five further offences to be taken into consideration.

Nicoleta Alistari, prosecuting, said one victim was asleep in her bedroom on Longroyd Grove when Zoe came into her room at 2am February 19 this year. She took a lap tap from beside the bed and ran from the property.

A neighbour had rung the police after seeing the siblings acting suspiciously in the street, trying door handles.

They were stopped by officers nearby and Zoe had the lap top hidden in her coat. She claimed to have just bought it for £20 from a man hiding in the bushes.

Officers searched Ashley’s house on Garnett Road, Beeston, and found three mobile phones. One of them was linked to a break-in at the home of a disabled man a week earlier.

The pair also carried out four burglaries on February 17. The court heard Zoe, of Ashley Avenue, Harehills, has a long record for burglary dating back to 2001. Ashley has one burglary conviction.

Kenton Sargeant, for Zoe, urged recorder Felicity Davies to take an “exceptional course” and not impose a minimum three year prison sentence for a three-strike burglar.

He said Zoe’s last offence was when she was 16. Only a recent break-down of a relationship had caused her to return to drugs and committing crime.

David Ake, for Ashley. said he wished to take responsibility for his actions and did not want to “hide” behind his sister’s back.

tony.gardner@ypn.co.uk

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