Drunk Leeds burglar is caught on camera

A burglar was caught on camera as he acted as a lookout as two of his friends targeted a house in Leeds.

Thursday, 17th November 2016, 1:52 pm
Updated Friday, 18th November 2016, 12:21 pm

Mark Pankhurst, 41, was arrested after CCTV footage of the burglary was obtained and police officers recognised him.

Leeds Crown Court heard Pankhurst and two other men targeted the house on Queenswood Road, Headingley, on October 13 this year.

Richard Walters, prosecuting, said the homeowner returned from work at 9.20pm and heard noises upstairs.

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He went into the bedroom and saw that the window was open and his laptop computer was missing.

CCTV footage was checked which showed a man climbing a ladder to get on top of the conservatory to get to the bedroom.

Mr Walters said Pankhurst did not enter the property but was seen on the footage standing in the back garden acting as the lookout.

Pankhurst was arrested two days later and initially denied being involved in the offence, claiming he had been in the Old Ball pub in Horsforth at the time. Pankhurst, of Lea Farm Road, Kirkstall, pleaded guilty to burglary after being shown the CCTV footage.

The court heard he has 34 previous convictions for 102 offences and is a “third strike” burglar.

Mr Walters said Pankhurst was given a 20 month sentence for burglary in April 2015 and was on licence at the time of his latest offence.

Mark Pritchard, mitigating, said Pankhurst pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage and accepted that a prison sentence was inevitable because it was his third offence of burglary.

Mr Pritchard said Pankhurst was drunk at the time of the offence and had agreed to take part as he was walking past the property.

He added: “It was a stupid mistake committed in drink.”

The Recorder of Leeds, judge Peter Collier, QC, jailed Pankhurst for two years, four months.

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