Burglar stole Ikea oven from house being done up in regeneration area

A burglar stole an oven from a house being renovated as part of a  West Yorkshire council's regeneration project, a court heard.

By Mark Lavery
Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 11:45 am

Heroin user Richard Preston, 46, broke into the empty property on Fieldhead Parade in Batley before taking the Ikea oven and hob from the kitchen, Leeds Crown Court was told.

The court heard a Kirklees Council worker reported the house as being secure on May 15 2020.

The council worker discovered the house had been broken into and the cooker stolen on May 18 2020.

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Leeds Crown Court

There were also a total of 15 paving slabs missing from the garden.

Police recovered fingerprints from the frame of a damaged window at the back of the house.

The prints were a match for Preston.

The court heard the council was left with repair and replacement costs of £840.

Prosecutor, Kristina Goodwin, said the house was being renovated as part of a Kirklees housing project to regenerate the area.

Preston, of Withens Road, Birstall, Batley, admitted burglary and a bail breach offence.

He has 25 previous convictions for 41 offences, including theft, going equipped for burglary, non dwelling burglary and battery.

A probation officer said Preston had started taking heroin again and had taken four tablets he hadn't previously had before committing the offence.

The probation officer said: "He doesn't really remember what happened or why. He says he is really ashamed of himself."

She said Preston, who is now working as a landscape gardener, told her he had used drugs on and off from the age of 15.

The court heard Preston has been on a methadone prescription while in prison and wants to get help for his drug problem.

Jessica Strange, mitigating, said: "He is usually alright when he is on the methadone, that is really the key here."

Judge Christopher Batty handed Preston a six month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

Preston must take part in 15 rehabilitation activity days and have an electronic monitor tag for three months.