Leeds house burglar snared after stolen birthday cards found in his gran's recycling

A Leeds house burglar who stole birthdays cards containing cash has been jailed.

By Mark Lavery
Saturday, 1st February 2020, 6:00 am

Drug addict Ashley Johnson, 27, was living with his grandmother at an address in Yeadon when he raided the home of another resident on the same cul-de-sac, Leeds Crown Court heard.

The burglary victim looked in the recycling bin at Johnson's grandmother's home and found the three birthday cards dumped after a total of £35 was taken from them.

CCTV evidence from a camera at his grandmother's house was used as evidence against Johnson.

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Leeds Crown Court

Prosecutor, Andrew Horton said the burglary victim lives in a semi-detached house with his partner and three children.

Mr Horton said at 6pm on January 5 the victim left his house and left a key in the shed for his son, who was due home later that day.

The man returned home just before 8pm and found the door to the house was open with the key in the lock.

He saw two of his young daughter's handbags had been searched and their contents left on the floor.

Three birthday cards and two scratchcards had been taken.

Mr Horton said the man challenged Johnnson, who said he had not been in the house before running away.

Mr Horton said: "He checked bins in the street and checked the defendant's grandmother's address and in the recycling bin he found the birthday cards.

"It seems the defendant has a serious drug problem. He tested positive for cocaine and opiates at the police station."

Johnson, of Regent Crescent, Horsforth, admitted burglary.

He has 22 previous convictions for 31 offences, including robbery and theft.

Julian King, mitigating, said: "It was during a time when he was staying at his grandmother's address.

"CCTV from her premises was used to assist finding out how this happened."

Jailing Johnson for eight months, Judge Simon Batiste told him: "Any offence of burglary has a significant impact on those that love at the property.

"It causes them to feel much less safe in their home."