Career burglar returned to prison

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A CAREER burglar who terrified a mother and daughter in their own home before stealing their car has been returned to prison.

Lee Cunningham, 26, was given a four-and-a-half year sentence over the raid on the flat on Manston Lane, Cross Gates, Leeds.

Leeds Crown Court heard the mum and daughter who lived there had parked their car outside the property on September 11 last year before going into their home.

Around ten minutes later the daughter saw a man about to enter the flat and tried to close the door.

Cunningham then pushed the door open and took a set of car keys before leaving.

Nigel Wray, prosecuting, said the mother then went into the room and found her daughter screaming on floor.

She ran outside and saw two men in her vehicle. One of them was wearing a ski mask. She tried to open the door to the vehicle but was knocked off balance as it was driven away. The woman suffered minor injuries.

Police were contacted and spotted the stolen car on Oakwood Lane as they were heading towards the property.

There was a short pursuit before the police car collided with the stolen vehicle.

Cunningham ran off but was caught a short distance away.

He was sweating and out of breath.

He initially denied committing any offence but later pleaded guilty to burglary.

The court heard Cunningham has a lengthy criminal history and is a ‘third strike’ burglar.

Catherine Silverton, mitigating, said Cunningham, of Ilbert Avenue, Bradford, had pleaded guilty at an early opportunity.

Miss Silverton said Cunningham’s offending was linked to long standing problems with depression and drug use but he would welcome help to address his behaviour while in custody