Burglar went on Leeds crime spree after being threatened

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A BURGLAR was forced to go on a crime spree to pay compensation to people who threatened him after he was caught targeting their home, a court heard.

Career crook John Metcalfe was so desperate to get away from the Leeds estate where he had been committing offences that he stole £1,000 in goods from his sister’s home to raise enough cash to flee.

Leeds Crown Court heard Metcalfe has a long criminal history, mainly for targeting property in garden sheds.

The 25-year-old pleaded guilty two offences of burglary, failing to surrender to custody, theft and interfering with a vehicle. He also asked for 12 further offences to be taken into consideration by the court.

Sam Andrews, prosecuting, said Metcalfe was caught on CCTV targeting the shed of a garden on Vesper Gate Mount, Kirkstall, on April 23 this year.

Days earlier he had also been caught on camera trying to breaking into cars in Horsforth. Metcalfe, of Poplar Court, Bramley, was arrested and released on bail to live at his sister’s home on Craggside Grove. Mr Andrews said Metcalfe stole around £1,000 worth of property from the address.

Police arrested Metcalfe over the theft and he admitted to taking the items and selling them.

David Tyrer, mitigating, said his client had co-operated with the police investigation at an early stage. He said: “Some of the offences were committed due to pressure, rightly or wrongly, from those who accused him of taking items belonging to them.” Mr Tyrer said Metcale had been subjected to violence and threats were made that he should pay compensation.

Metcalfe was given a nine month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work. He was also made the subject of a three-month curfew order.

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