Leeds burglar jailed for targeting friend’s home

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A BURGLAR who broke into a house days after being involved in a dangerous police pursuit in Leeds city centre has been jailed.

Paul Johns, 25, was jailed for two years, eight months, over the offences committed in October last year.

Johns had cannabis in the Ford Puma he was driving on Park Street, which runs between the city’s Crown and magistrates courts, when police tried to stop him.

The incident took place around 5.30pm when city centre rush hour traffic was grid locked.

Officers in one vehicle blocked his path. Johns then reversed at speed into an entrance to the crown court. A police dog van was then used to try and stop him getting away. Johns drove onto the pavement in a bid to get away and collided with both police vehicle. Officers managed to drag him from the car and he was arrested.

Johns was then released on police bail, but targeted the home of a family friend on Alderton Rise, Moortown, eight days later.

Leeds Crown Court heard Johns and a teenage accomplice were caught on CCTV carrying out the raid at 7.30pm.

The pair had gone to the house earlier in the evening but were disturbed as a woman who lived there was still in the property.

They returned later and searched rooms before stealing around £400.

Johns, of Whitehall Court, Wortley, was arrested after being recognised from the CCTV footage.

He pleaded guilty to burglary, dangerous driving, having no insurance and having no licence.

Hannah Bray, mitigating, said Johns committed the driving offence out of panic because he knew he was in trouble as he only has a provisional licence.

Miss Bray said the burglary had not been planned and he had taken part in the offence at the suggestion of others.

Jailing Johns, Recorder Mark McKone, said the burglary offence was aggravated by the fact that the victim Johns’s friend.