Handcuffed burglar fled police in girlfriend's getaway car after they carried out break-in at West Yorkshire Poundland store

A couple burgled a town centre shop then evaded arrest by driving off from police despite one of them being handcuffed

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 4:45 pm

Leeds Crown Court heard Gareth Waite and Kay Jakiela were spotted on CCTV breaking into Poundland, in Pontefract, after he had thrown a paving slab through the glass door.

Carmel Pearson, prosecuting, said 41-year-old Waite was caught on camera picking up an object at around 9.40pm on September 22 last year and throwing it at the door.

He was unable to get inside and headed down an alleyway where 41-year-old Jakiela was waiting.

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Gareth Waite was jailed for 20 months at Leeds Crown Court after pleading guilty to a burglary of a Poundland store in Pontefract and a series of shoplifting offences.

Miss Pearson said they waited to see if anyone had been alerted, and after a few minutes, Waite picked up the paving slab and threw it at the door, breaking the glass.

He then kicked his way in, followed by Jakiela.

He emerged moments later with a bag "brimming with stolen stuff", Miss Pearson added.

A police officer arrived and began to chase Waite, giving Jakiela the chance to escape. She was also carrying stolen items.

The officer eventually caught up with Waite and was able to get him in handcuffs as she called for back-up.

Jakiela then pulled up in a car, Waite pushed the officer and got into the passenger seat before being driven off.

Waite was eventually arrested a week later and admitted his part in the offence, telling police he had been able to get the handcuffs off by using a key.

They had stolen £100 worth of items but caused £3,000 worth of damage.

Jakiela, of Northgate, Pontefract, pleaded guilty to burglary.

Waite, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to burglary and escaping from custody.

He also pleaded guilty to a series of shoplifting offences committed throughout September of last year from Lidl, Aldi, B&M and Home Bargains in the Pontefract and Castleford areas.

Jakiela had also been involved in some of the shoplifting offences, but she was dealt with at Leeds Magistrates' Court, having been given a community order and ordered to undergo drug-dependency treatment.

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Jeremy Barton, mitigating for Waite, said that his "entrenched history of drug use" was at the root of his offending.

He has been convicted 33 times and jailed several times for robbery and shop thefts.

Mr Barton said Waite's mother died in September of last year and that triggered his crime spree, culminating in the shoplifting and the Poundland break-in.

Mr Barton said: "He realises that if he does not sort himself out, he will be dead or spend his life in prison."

Andrew Semple, mitigating for Jakiela, said she was a mother-of-three and that drugs had also been an issue in her life.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC gave her an 18-month community order.

Waite, who was already being held on remand, was jailed for 20-months.