A burglar was arrested after he was captured on CCTV wobbling along on a stolen bicycle with his ill-gotten gains.
Leeds Crown Court heard Nathan Anthony Burton was on bail for a break-in at the Perfect Home shop in Dewsbury’s Princess of Wales Precinct when he broke into a flat in Batley.
The occupier had left the flat locked when she went to work at 7.15am on November 27, but returned home to find an intruder had forced a window in the living room.
Prosecutor Rukhshanda Hussain said the woman was shaking and crying when she phoned her father for help.
Items stolen included her laptop, a camera, a Kindle and some jewellery. Police investigations led to the discovery that a £500 bike was missing from another address and CCTV footage showed Burton on the bike carrying a blue bag.
“He had very little control of the bike because of the property he was carrying,” Ms Hussain said. “The footage was seen by a police officer who recognised him and he was arrested.”
Burton, 36, of Whitehall Way, Dewsbury, was jailed for a total of four years last Thursday after admitting burglary and theft. He also asked for nine other offences of commercial burglary and theft to be taken into consideration.
Anastasis Tassou, mitigating, said Burton’s offending stemmed from his need to finance his taking of hard drugs including crack cocaine and heroin.
But he had turned to drugs in an effort to forget an ordeal in 1995 when he was violently kidnapped and held a prisoner in a cellar. He was beaten, tied up and was only eventually rescued because an off-duty police officer had heard his screams and went to investigate.
Mr Tassou said Burton had never received any counselling for that trauma and dealt with it by abusing drugs.
He said Burton had managed to reduce his methadone prescription from 140mg to 20mg while in custody and welcomed the help he was being given.
Judge Tom Bayliss QC said the flat burglary had left his victim nervous of living in her own home and had deprived her of sentimental jewellery as well as electrical goods. He was satisfied Burton had also “cased the joint” in advance, knocking at least on one other door nearby to see if someone was in.