Burglar tried to attack victim with hammer in crack-cocaine-fulled crimewave

Joshua Martin.Joshua Martin.
Joshua Martin.
A VIOLENT burglar who tried to attack a man with a hammer during a crack cocaine-fuelled crime spree has been locked up for six years.

Joshua Martin left victims terrified as he targeted homes and business premises in Wakefield to fund his addiction to the class A drug.

Martin, 20, was handed the lengthy sentence after admitting 29 offences including aggravated burglary, theft, fraud and possession of a knife.

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Leeds Crown Court heard most of the offences were committed over two days, on February 4 and 5 this year.

The most serious offence took place at a flat on Cross Lane when Martin was disturbed the homeowner.

Michael Smith, prosecuting, said Martin was wearing a balaclava when he was seen outside the property by the man who lived at the address.

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Martin took a hammer from his bag and swung it at the victim.

He managed to close the door to his home to avoid being injured.

Martin was armed with a knife when he broke into Mother Hubbard’s fish and chip on Horbury Road.

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Other break-ins were committed at business premises in the area, including a Chinese takeaway and a kitchen showroom.

Martin burgled Foundation Housing, on Union Square, and stole a wallet which belonged to a member of staff.

He then used a bank card stolen in the raid to buy items from shops in the city centre.

The court heard Martin stole a moped from outside a house in Wakefield which he used to commit the offences.

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Martin was arrested by police on February 9 after breaking into garages on Hebble Wharf.

Mr Smith said Martin also threatened his former girlfriend’s partner and caused £1,000 worth of damage to his home.

After the incident he sent threatening Facebook messages.

Martin, of Wood Street, Castleford, pleaded guilty to two offences of attempted aggravated burglary, one of aggravated burglary, four burglaries, two attempted burglaries, six offences of fraud, theft, affray, possession of a knife and sending a malicious communication.

Martin asked for eight further burglaries and three thefts to be taken into consideration by the court.

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Robin Frieze, mitigating, said Martin had become addicted to crack cocaine after being introduced to the drug while in custody.

He said: “All these offences were committed when he was in the grip of that drug.”

“He is in ordinary circumstances, when not taking drugs, a polite, respectable and pleasant young man.

“He does not complain or blame anyone else.”

Sentencing Martin, judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “Over a short period of time you were involved in some very serious offending indeed.”