A MAN who was part of a gang of burglars who were caught after targeting a house in Leeds has been jailed for two years.
Justinas Sabonis, 25, was handed the sentence after a judge heard the area in Morley where the offence took place has an “excessively high” burglary rate.
Another member of the four-man gang, interpreter Artur Avtushenko, 23, was given a suspended sentence for his part in the raid at the house on Woodcross Garth.
Georgina Coade, prosecuting, said the owners of the property were out at the time of the incident, on March 21 this year, but the men were spotted outside in a silver Mercedes around 8pm.
The patio door of the house was been removed and £1,200 of goods, including electrical items, a handbag, cash and bottles of spirits were taken. A neighbour shouted at the men and they drove off but police spotted their vehicle a short time later.
The car was driven to the Recreation estate in Holbeck and parked outside a house. Avtushenko was arrested inside the property and the car was later recovered with some of the stolen property still inside. Sabonis was arrested three days later.
Avtushenko, of Clough Street, Morley, and Sabonis, of Shafton Place, Holbeck, both pleaded guilty to burglary. Sabonis also pleaded guilty to two offences of theft from the HMV store in Leeds city centre in a separate incident.
The court heard Sabonis had been the driver of the car in the burglary and Avtushenko had shown the other gang members where the house was. Lawyers for the pair said neither of them entered the property.
Lithuanian-born Sabonis had moved to the UK five years ago and began offending to fund his addiction to heroin, He has served a previous prison sentence for burglary.
Stephen Smithson, for Russian-born Avtushenko, said his client had felt pressured to take part in the offence by former colleagues he had worked with in the catering industry.
The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, gave Avtushenko a 12 month sentence suspended for two years and ordered him to do 120 hours unpaid work.