Belle Isle burglary couple caught on camera carrying 50-inch television out of next door neighbour's flat

A couple burgled their vulnerable next door neighbour's flat while she was asleep in bed in the early hours of the morning, a court heard.

By Tony Gardner
Friday, 14th January 2022, 11:45 am

Alan Gibbs and Debbie Bates were arrested after CCTV footage showed them carrying items out of the flat in Belle Isle.

Leeds Crown Court heard Bates had lived next door to the 65-year-old victim for a number of years and had previously cooked for her when she was ill.

The court heard the couple targeted the property on Dolphin Road, Belle Isle, as they knew the woman often left her door unlocked.

Alan Gibbs was jailed for 29 months for carrying out a burglary with his partner Debbie Bates at a vulnerable woman's home in Belle Isle.

Camera footage from another property on the street showed Gibbs and Bates going in and out of the victim's home between 4am and 6.30am on October 28 last year.

The victim was awoken by the sound of her dog barking, saw Gibbs walking down her stairs and shouted "Oi!"

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She then went into her living room and saw that her 50-inch television was missing.

Her handbag, containing bank cards and cash, had also been stolen.

Police were called and went to Bates' flat after the couple were identified from the footage.

She answered the door and let the officers inside.

Bates became aggressive when the defendants were told they were under arrest.

As he was being handcuffed, Gibbs told one of the officers: "I'm going to headbutt you to death."

He managed to kick the officer in the head during a struggle and tried to spit at him.

The stolen television was found hidden behind a sofa in the property.

Bates initially denied any wrongdoing. She claimed to have gone outside at 4am but said she had not gone into the victim's garden or entered her property.

She also claimed to have found the television.

Bates, 51, of Dolphin Road, pleaded guilty to burglary

Gibbs, 50, of West Grange Close, Belle Isle, pleaded guilty to burglary and assaulting an emergency worker.

The court heard the defendants had been together for around 12 months before the offence and had been abusing drugs but the relationship is now over.

Gibbs was described as a long term user of heroin who has served prison sentences for offences in the past.

He was jailed for 29 months.

Bates was given a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years.

She was also ordered to complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and was made the subject of an electronically-tagged curfew order for six months.

Sentencing, the judge, Recorder Taryn Turner said: "She was regrettably targeted because of her age and there was a degree of planning and organisation.

"CCTV footage demonstrates that each of you played an active part.

"In other words, you were each in it together"

Recorder Turner told Bates: "You engaged fully in this wicked offence against your neighbour. You had fallen under the spell of your co-accused."