Burglar jailed for three strike rule after stealing family car

Leon Short
Leon Short

A burglar who stole a car from a family home has been jailed for three years.

Leon Short, 26, was locked up under the “three strikes and you’re out” rule after racking up his third conviction for house burglary.

Leeds Crown Court heard how Short’s victims were left anxious and depressed after he broke into their home on Horbury Road, Lupset, on August 24.

Prosecutor Bashir Ahmed told how the couple were upstairs in bed and there were children present when Short entered through a dining room window.

He took a number of electrical items and the keys to a 54 plate Ford Mondeo.

Afterwards he tried to break into a neighbouring house but the occupant was woken up by the banging. She looked out and saw a man trying to climb over a fence. It emerged he had tried to remove beading from the window and caused £200 damage.

The following morning officers were keeping an eye out on the stolen Ford Mondeo and saw Short get into it.

Inside his house they found a pushchair, which belonged to the rightful owner of the Mondeo.

Short initially claimed travellers had offered him money to drive the vehicle.

But on Friday Short, of Lindsay Avenue, Wakefield, admitted burglary, theft and attempted burglary

The court heard he had 33 convictions arising out of 59 offences, the vast majority of which were for dishonesty.

He was on licence from prison for handling at the time of these offences.

Tony Kelbrick, mitigating, said Short had come out prison still owing money to a drug dealer and considerable pressure was exerted upon him.

The barrister added: “He went out effectively to settle that debt. That’s why he went out to commit these offences of burglary.”

Judge Rodney Jameson QC, passing sentence, said: “Mr Short, you know that there is a minimum sentence that I’m obliged to pass. It seems that is the appropriate sentence, certainly on count one, the first offence.”