Leeds burglar’s raid at home of wheelchair-bound victim

Christopher Clough.
Christopher Clough.
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A burglar who targeted the home of an elderly wheelchair-bound victim at a sheltered housing complex in Leeds has been jailed.

Christopher Clough, 38, was jailed for three years, eight months over the offence which took place at the complex in Pudsey.

Leeds Crown Court heard the victim was asleep in bed when Clough went into his home at 5.40am on April 19 this year.

Lorraine Harris, prosecuting, said staff at the complex use a safe to store keys in order to access residents’ homes.

Clough forced open the safe in order to get the key to the victim’s flat.

He then went into the living and stole a lap top and tablet device before going into the bedroom.

Clough shone a torch around the room and the victim woke up and shouted at him.

He fled the scene but left an unsmoked roll-up cigarette behind which was found to contain his DNA.

Clough, of Nunnington Avenue, Armley, pleaded guilty to burglary.

The court heard he has 25 previous burglary convictions.

Warner Falk, mitigating, said the father-of-four had committed the offence because he was unable to find work and was struggling to support his family.

Mr Falk said Clough had pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage.

He added that it was the first time Clough had committed a burglary offence for almost nine years and was sorry for the distress he had caused the victim.

Mr Justice Warby told Clough: “You must have known you would have found the occupant inside the property.

“This was a particularly cynical crime because you targeted a home which was, and should have been, sheltered housing.

“The rights of the elderly and vulnerable to be protected against this kind of crime is particularly important.

“He was in sheltered housing because he needs a wheelchair.”