Leeds burglar jailed for break-in at neighbour’s home

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A CAREER burglar who was caught breaking into his neighbour’s home has been jailed.

Anthony Richards, 44, was given a sentence of two years, four months, over the raid on the property on Harehills Avenue, on December 7 this year.

Leeds Crown Court heard how the burglary was spotted by another resident of the street who then confronted Richards.

Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, said Richards took a bag of tools and a torch with him to carry out the break-in shortly after midday.

He smashed a kitchen window to get into the house while the owner was out and helped himself to a lap top computer, a watch, cuff links and cash. Officers arrived and shouted at Richards to come out of the premises. He replied: “OK, OK, I’m just getting the stuff ready.”

He then went outside and the stolen items were taken from him. Richards, also of Harehills Avenue, was arrested and claimed during interview that he had committed the offence to pay off a debt.

Richards has a long criminal record for robbery and burglary. Philip Goldberg, prosecuting, said Richards had pleaded guilty to the offence at an early opportunity.

He said Richards abused drugs and had little recollection of the incident. The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier, QC, said burglary offences are still a problem in the area of the city where he struck.

He said: “It is still a very serious problem in Leeds, not withstanding the inroads that have been made in recent months and the court has to have regard to the communityimpact of these burglaries.

“I understand that it is your intention to seek help for your drug and mental health issues.

“Hopefully, when you are released you will be able to maintain the efforts that your are making at the current time.”