Leeds burglar targeted student homes

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A CAREER criminal has been jailed over his latest spree of offences in which he targeted student homes in Leeds.

Conrad Cooke, 44, was sentenced to two years, eight months over the break-ins at properties in the Headingley and Burley areas of the city.

“Some of the complainants were at home at the time and it would have been extremely traumatic for them.”

Judge Sally Cahill, QC

Leeds Crown Court heard Cooke smashed a door panel at a house on St Anne’s Drives, Burley, on October 30 and stole a Playstation worth £400.

Forensic officers found Cooke’s blood at the scene.

Cooke broke into a house on St Anne’s Way, Burley, on November 7 and stole over £1,000 worth of items including a Xbox and other electrical equipment.

Cooke’s blood was found on the carpet and on electrical sockets.

Cooke then forced his way into a house in Headingley on November 18. He was disturbed by a student who was at home at the time of the incident.

Cooke was chased by the student and police later found him hiding under a van.

After his arrest Cooke was found in possession of items which had stolen in another burglary at Derwent Water Grove, Headingley, on November 13.

Cooke, of Queenswood Drive, pleaded guilty to three offences of burglary and one of handling stolen goods. He asked for a further offence of handling stolen goods to be taken into consideration by the court.

The court heard Cooke had previous convictions for burglary, robbery and other violent offences dating back to 1986.

Michael Miller, mitigating, said Cooke admitted the offence at an early stage but understood he was facing a lengthy sentence.

Mr Miller said Cooke had been out of trouble since 2010 but had returned to using drugs as he struggled to cope with the death of his mother and the breakdown of his relationship.

Jailing Cooke, judge Sally Cahill, QC, said: “It was a spree of offending. You went out and committed each of these burglaries in order to fund your drug habit.

“Some of the complainants were at home at the time and it would have been extremely traumatic for them.”