'Career' Wakefield burglar caught with stolen items after suffering drug overdose

A 'career' Wakefield burglar was caught out when he was found in possession of stolen loot as he suffered a drug overdose.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 12:30 pm

William Henry Webb had been taken to hospital after being found unconscious, but hospital staff became suspicious of several bags full of computer equipment he had been carrying.

Leeds Crown Court heard that the bags bore the name Red Rock Partnership Ltd, a recruitment firm in Wakefield that had been burgled sometime between January 22 and 25 this year.

Prosecutor Felicity Hemlin said Webb had gained entry to the Northgate building by smashing a glass panel door, before stealing computers, monitors, keyboards, a coffee machine, stationery and even chocolate.

Addict William Webb has been locked up.
Addict William Webb has been locked up.

Webb, who has a long criminal record for burglary, had also broken into a car showroom, Cars 2, on Denby Dale Road, twice in the months prior.

On November 14 last year he used a concrete slab to smash the glass entrance to the showroom, stealing two iPads and causing £3,500 worth of damage after trying to rip two TVs off the wall. He was spotted on CCTV.

On January 3 he smashed the replaced panel again at Cars 2 and stole more computer equipment, and was then seen again on January 6 smashing the window to car parked outside the showroom.

The 40-year-old wore the same clothes and backpack as the previous occasion, however, he cut himself during the car break-in and police were able to match his DNA.

He pleaded guilty to three non-dwelling burglaries and theft from a vehicle.

He also admitted four counts of thefts from shops after he stole around £600 worth of fragrances from Boots on Kirkgate during several shoplifting visits.

Webb, of Emblem Terrace, Wakefield, has 42 convictions for 87 offences, many of which were non-dwelling burglaries and shop thefts.

He was on a suspended sentence while he committed his latest offences.

Mitigating, Kristina Goodwin said Webb had been addicted to drugs since the age of 15, and that his son and brother both died from heroin use last year.

She said: "He is candid about his past. Class A drugs have played an integral, if not a major part in his offending, but he does wish to use that as an excuse."

She said he was now on a methadone programme for his own heroin addiction and was hoping to be completely free of substances by the time he is freed from jail.

Judge Simon Batiste jailed him for two years and 11 months and added: "You are a career burglar and shoplifter.

"It's feeding your addiction is all that you have cared about. Given your willingness to burgle again and again, the sentences are going to get longer and longer."