A burglar helped police recover a Mirfield student’s laptop with her vital university work on it after expressing remorse when he was caught.
Damien Wood also owned up to a string of other offences aiding in the recovery of missing jewellery when he decided to “clean the slate” Leeds Crown Court heard.
Wood, 37, of Pump Lane, Dewsbury Moor, was jailed for a total of 40 months after admitting burglary at two schools in Bradford and Mirfield and at a house in Mirfield. He also asked for 36 other offences to be taken into consideration.
Stephanie Hancock, prosecuting, told the court on April 27 Wood forced open a fire door at St Joseph’s School, Bradford and stole a laptop. He was arrested and was on bail when in May he smashed a window at the Holly Bank Trust School, Mirfield and stole another laptop, boxes of sweets and a television.
She said Wood called a taxi to move his loot and the driver was suspicious about him so took a photo on his mobile phone and reported it to the authorities.
By then he had burgled a house in Four Acres, Mirfield. Among the items stolen was the occupier’s daughter’s laptop with her university work on it.
Miss Hancock said Wood helped in the recovery of the student’s laptop which was subsequently returned to her two weeks after the burglary.
Anastasis Tassou representing Wood said he had done extremely well after a previous release from prison with accommodation and a relationship. Having obtained qualifications while inside he also got a job as a drug and alcohol worker assisting “those in the position he had been in for so many years.”
But he said everything changed following the death of his young daughter. “That knocked him back and he sought refuge in the comforting embrace of class A drugs as he has so many times over the years.”
Det Insp Andy Leonard of Kirklees CID, said: “As part of the court case Wood admitted a large number of burglaries which has meant we have been able to at least in part bring closure to those victims. During interview, Wood was able to assist police to recover some valuable property he had stolen, which we have also been able to return including a student’s laptop computer which contained vital course work and jewellery which had sentimental value.”