Neighbours caught burglar found hiding in Leeds pensioners’ bedroom

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A PROLIFIC burglar who crept into an elderly Leeds couple’s home in broad daylight and hid in a bedroom was arrested after neighbours stepped in to help.

Leeds Crown Court heard a 74-year-old resident of Holmwood Court at Meanwood was alerted by neighbours who spotted Thomas Cawley prowling in the area at around 3pm on January 23.

The pensioner was checking rooms at his home when he spotted Cawley, 34, lying on the floor in a bedroom.

Prosecutor, Bashir Ahmed said Cawley told the OAP ‘I’m hiding’ before jumping over the bed.

Two of the pensioner’s neighbours arrived at the house and held on to a struggling Cawley until police arrived at the scene to arrest him. Police discovered some of the pensioner’s wife’s jewellery in a sheet on the floor in the bedroom where Cawley had been lying.

Cawley, of Bracken Court, Gelderd Road, Leeds, has 53 previous convictions for house burglaries. He admitted the latest burglary and asked for a further five house burglaries and one attempted burglary to be taken into consideration.

Mitigating, James Littlehales said: “He had an appalling upbringing where his family sent him out to burgle from a young age.” Recorder Ray Singh jailed Cawley for three-years-and-four-months, telling him: “He (the pensioner) found you lying between a bed and a wall. He must have been frightened out of his wits. It has caused a great deal of distress to him and his wife.”