Leeds nostalgia: Cold shock for canal jump thief

A thief got the shock of his life after he jumped into the Leeds Liverpool Canal while trying to evade police.

Tuesday, 8th March 2016, 8:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th March 2016, 8:21 am

The 20-year-old was being chased by Superintendent Mackareth after stealing sugar, eggs, currants, cake and tea worth £16 9s 10d from Bridge Stores.

The burglary was reported via the then new ‘999 system’, to which Leeds had only recently been added. When police arrived on the scene, they found one of the windows smashed and saw the suspect shinning down a fallpipe, jumping the last 12ft to the ground. He then made off on foot, running towards the canal. The police shouted to him to stop and warned him about the canal, which they later told a court was 40-50ft wide at that point and very deep. It was also a freezing cold night but the suspect jumped in and swam to the opposite bank.

He almost didn’t make it. Police officers were able to cross the canal by a nearby bridge and had to assist the man out of the water. He allegedly said as he was dragged back onto dry land, ‘You win, I give up.’

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He almost did too, as he then fell unconscious from the extreme cold and had to be revived by one of the police officers, who gave him mouth to mouth.

In other news, the YEP reported Friday March 8 was the “coldest night for a fortnight”, with temperatures falling to seven degrees Fahrenheit (-13 Celsius), with the addition of freezing fog, which brought visibility down to just 15 yards in places.

And finally, the Allies were busy planning Germany’s future but there was disagreement, with France demanding German territory be made into an ‘international buffer zone’ and Russia objecting wholesale to the US-led plan.