Career burglar’s sex offences against Leeds schoolgirl

Martin Elsworth.
Martin Elsworth.
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A PROLIFIC burglar has been jailed for more than seven years for a series of break-ins at homes across Leeds and sex offences against a schoolgirl.

Martin Elsworth groomed his 14-year-old victim on Facebook before meeting her and having sex with her on three occasions.

Leeds Crown Court heard Elsworth gave the youngster cannabis before carrying out the sex offences.

Elsworth also pretended to be the father of one of the victim’s friends in order to trick her mother into allowing him to stay with him for the night.

Elsworth, 27, sent text messages to the girl’s mother posing as the friend’s father and said she could stay overnight at their home.

The court heard the girl’s mother eventually became suspicious and went to the property in Leeds where Elsworth claimed to lived.

The sex offences, which took place early in 2013, eventually came to light when the girl told a welfare worker at school what had happened.

By that time Elsworth was in prison for burglary offences.

Elsworth, of Bracken Court, Wortley, pleaded guilty to burglary and three offences of sexual activity with a girl under 16.

He asked the court to take 142 further offences to be taken into consideration by the court, 73 of which are offences for burglary at 73 homes in Leeds.

The court heard Elsworth broke into a house on Poole Crescent, Cross Gates, and stole jewellery.

A neighbour saw Elsworth coming out the property and chased him. He managed to detain him until police arrived.

Ian Cook, mitigating, said Elsworth co-operated fully with police and admitted the large number of offence in order to “wipe the slate clean”

Jailing Elsworth for seven years, four months, judge James spencer, QC, said: “The signs are that you been have acting as a professional burglar.”