Leeds council flat burglar caught after being spotted by housing officer

A burglar who broke into a Leeds council flat was caught after being recognised by a housing officer.

By Tony Gardner
Saturday, 4th January 2020, 6:00 am

Steven Cook was also linked to the break-in when his footprint was recovered from the property on South Farm Road, Gipton.

Leeds Crown Court heard Cook has four previous convictions for burglary and targeted the flat on November 12 last year.

Carmel Pearson, prosecuting, said the tenant of the flat was staying with his mother at the time of the incident and the property was not being lived in.

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Steven Cook was jailed for 18 months

Cook smashed a window to gain entry to the flat at 2.45pm.

A neighbour heard the sound of smashing glass and contacted a housing officer.

The housing officer went to the house but was unable to get in as Cook held the door handle from the inside.

The officer went to the rear of the property and saw Cook walking away.

Miss Pearson said he knew Cook by his nickname and contacted police.

The tenant of the flat was contacted and discovered that drawers in the property had been searched.

Copper wiring in the boiler had also been tampered with.

Cook, of Ivy Street, East End Park, Leeds, pleaded guilty to burglary.

The 41-year-old has convictions for burglary dating back to 1996.

Caroline Abraham, mitigating, said Cook had pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage but was realistic about the fact that he would be going to prison because of his criminal record.

Cook was jailed for 18 months.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said: "I accept it was not the most sophisticated burglary but you were disturbed by a housing officer.

"To that extent there was a confrontation."