Leeds burglar who stole charity box during raid on cafe is branded 'a menace'

Christopher Stead
Christopher Stead
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A Judge branded a prolific Leeds burglar who struck at two businesses a “menace” before jailing  him for more than two years.

Leeds Crown Court heard crack cocaine addict Christopher Stead stole property and caused damage totalling more than £6,500 during raids on two Leeds businesses.

Prosecutor, David Mackay said Stead broke into engineering workshop A&J Metal Fabrications on Parkside Lane, Beeston, in the early hours of April 1.

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He stole cash, welding equipment and tools with a total value of more than £3,700 and caused damage to the building which cost more than £1,600 to repair.

Stead, 42, broke into Sugar Kingz café in Morley overnight on Friday April 11.

Stead, of Trentham Grove, Beeston, used a metal pole to force a fire door open before ripping the alarm box from the wall.

Mr Mackay said Stead stole £250, a charity collection box containing and unknown amount of cash and some food.

The court heard total value of cash and property taken was £350 and an estimated £1,000 damage was caused.

Traces of Stead’s DNA was found on an iphone box at the engineering workshop and a length of cord at the café.

He was arrested on May 20 and admitted two commercial burglaries.

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The court heard Stead has 42 previous convictions for 143 offences including theft, house burglaries, and commercial burglaries.

A Probation officer said Stead was in care from an early age, adding "He tells me the motivation was his drug use.

"He says all the offences he has committed throughout his life have been linked to his drug use."

Mitigating, John Bottomley said Stead has suffered from mental health problems.

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Jailing Stead for two-years-and-three-months, Recorder Taryn Turner told him: “You are a menace, quite frankly.

"Your ransacking of both premises will have had a disrupting effect on the running of those businesses."