Burglar apprehended after his DNA found on gin bottle at Leeds student flat

Stephen Sharpe appeared at Leeds Crown Court today

A BURGLAR was brought to justice after his DNA was found on a bottle of gin stolen during a break-in at a student flat in Leeds.

A court heard Stephen Sharpe broke into the property on Hyde Terrace, Woodhouse, Leeds, on December 2 last year.

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Leeds Crown Court was told the students who lived at the address were out at the time and returned to find they had been burgled.

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said keys to a Ford Fiesta, worth £1,000, had been taken and the vehicle was missing.

Electrical items and other valuables worth £2,630 had also been taken along with a bottle of gin, driving licence and passport.

The gin bottle was later found empty near to the property and Sharpe’s DNA was recovered from it.

The court heard the car and other valuables were not recovered.

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Sharpe was arrested on January 9 this year shortly after another break-in at a student property on St Michael’s Lane, Headingley.

Sharpe and another man were arrested in possession of some of the items taken in the raid.

He denied entering the house when interviewed by police but accepted he knew that the items had been stolen.

Sharpe, of Fairfax Avenue, Drighlington, pleaded guilty to burglary and handling stolen goods.

He was jailed for three years, two months.

The court heard Sharpe has 28 previous convictions, including two for breaking into houses.

Marcus Waite, mitigating, said Sharpe committed the offences after he “sort of lost his head” when he had problems with his former partner.

Mr Waite said: “Unfortunately he spiralled in to using heroin and crack and slipped back into offending.”

Mr Waite said Sharpe was working hard to address his offending while in custody, was receiving help to tackle his drug problem and was motivated to turn his life around.

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