Dozy burglar caught after falling asleep during break-in at Leeds elderly residents' complex

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A serial burglar was caught when he fell asleep during a break-in at a sheltered housing complex for elderly and disabled people

James Richmond nodded off after forcing his way into the premises and stealing a TV remote control, a mobile phone, bus pass, cash and some lipstick.

Serial burglar James Richmond fell asleep during raid on elderly residents' complex in Armley.

Serial burglar James Richmond fell asleep during raid on elderly residents' complex in Armley.

Richmond was arrested after an elderly resident found Richmond fast asleep in the living room and rang police.

The offence at Thornhill Court, Armley, was the third in a series of burglaries in West Leeds in which Richmond targeted the homes of the elderly in the middle of the night.

Richmond was jailed for five years after Leeds Crown Court heard the 39-year-old has an appalling record for breaking into houses in Leeds going back two decades.

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Andrew Horton, prosecuting, said Richmond forced his way into Daisyfield Grange retirement complex in the early hours of April 26 this year.

He stole a TV, a toaster, tea and sugar from a communal area during the raid.

Richmond was given an eight week sentence on May 17 for an offence of theft but continued to commit burglaries when he was released from custody.

He broke into a house occupied by elderly residents on Waveney Road, Wortley, on July 11.

Richmond climbed in through a window and stole a wallet containing cash and a debit card.

He then used the card to buy items from shops within an hour of the offence.

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Mr Horton said Richmond went on the commit the offence at Thornhill Court while he was drunk and had taken drugs.

Richmond, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to three offences of burglary.

Back in 2000 he was jailed for eight and a half years for a series of burglaries that included 33 offences.

He received a further jail sentence for burglary in 2010.

Stephen Welford, mitigating, said Richmond pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage.

Mr Welford said Richmond accepted he must face a lengthy prison sentence and hoped to change his ways while in custody.

Sentencing Richmond, Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: "It is no co-incidence that they were premises occupied by elderly people and you must have known that they were occupied by elderly people.

"People's homes should be a place of refuge.

"People should be able to feel safe in their homes.

"People should not feel vulnerable in their homes."