Morley crime spree burglar broke into business premises and stole staff tip money

A burglar carried out a spree of nighttime raids on business premises in Morley and stole staff tip money to fund his drug habit.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 11:45 am

A judge who locked up Kenneth Smith told him that customers would be "appalled" to know where the money had gone, adding: "It is hard to think of anyone less deserving."

Smith was sentenced to two years at Leeds Crown Court for offending carried out between July and October this year.

Lydia Carroll, prosecuting, said Smith broke into Lime Tree Bistro, Queen Street, during the night on July 23.

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Career burglar Kenneth Smith has been locked up for targeting business premises in Morley.

He entered the premises through the back door and stole £300 of tip money.

Smith also took £30 from the till, a mobile phone and alcohol.

He then left only to return with another man but they were unable to get back inside.

The damage to the door cost £280 to repair

Kenneth Smith was jailed for two years at Leeds Crown Court over a spree of burglaries in which he targeted business premises and stole staff tip money.,

On July 27 Smith forced entry to Top Nail Queen, also on Queen Street.

He caused damage breaking into the nail boutique before stealing a tip jar containing £20 in change.

The 42-year-old targeted Boomerang Cafe four days later, on August 1.

He tried to kick his way through a glass door without success but caused £250 worth of damage.

During the same night he tried to break into Liberty Emporium, on Queen Street.

He caused damage to a rear door and caused £350 worth of damage.

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Police officers arrested Smith at his home in Beeston on August 24 and he was in possession of amphetamines.

He went on to commit further offences in Leeds while on bail.

Ms Carroll said the defendant broke into Heaney and Mill restaurant, Otley Road, Headingley, on September 4.

He caused £700 worth of damage as he smashed a door and tried to break open the till.

On October 4 he smashed a glass door at Bengal Spice takeaway, in Roundhay, and stole a cash tin containing £44.

CCTV footage of the offence showed Smith holding in a crowbar in his hand.

He was arrested again on October 15 and refused to provide a drug test sample when he was taken to Elland Road police station.

Smith, of Trentham Place, Beeston, pleaded guilty to four counts of burglary, two of attempted burglary, possession of amphetamine and failing to provide a specimen for a class A drug test.

He has previous convictions for burglary at domestic premises.

Describing the offending, Satpal Roth Sharma, mitigating, said: "He goes to commercial premises with the same equipment to fund his drug habit.

"He accepts that he will be facing longer and longer sentences."

The barrister said Smith began using drugs at boarding school where they were "readily available".

His habit then became more serious as he began taking heroin and crack cocaine.

Ms Roth Sharma said Smith hoped to change his ways and was interested in being a carpet fitter when he is released from custody.

Jailing Smith, Judge Andrew Stubbs QC said: "Your desire for drugs means that you target these premises with the same tools or equipment

"Much of the money taken was tip money from grateful customers.

"They would be appalled to know where it had gone.

"It is hard to think of anyone less deserving than you, Mr Smith.

"You can't stop offending at the moment. The only thing that stops you is when you are locked up."