Handcuffed burglar fled police in partner's getaway car after Pontefract shop break-in

A couple burgled a town centre shop then evaded arrest by driving off from police despite one of them being handcuffed, a court has been told.

By Nick Frame
Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 3:07 pm

Gareth Malcolm Waite and Kay Jakiela were spotted on CCTV breaking into Poundland in Pontefract, after he had thrown a paving slab through the glass door.

Prosecuting, Carmel Pearson said security cameras pick up 41-year-old Waite pick up an object at around 9.40pm on September 22 last year and throw it at the door, but it initially failed to allow then access.

He then headed down an alleyway where 41-year-old Jakiela was waiting.

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Gareth Waite.

Miss Pearson said they waited to see if anyone had been alerted, and after a few minutes, Waite picked up the paving slab and threw it at the door, breaking the glass. He then kicked his way in, followed by Jakiela.

He emerged moments later with a bag "brimming with stolen stuff", Miss Pearson added.

At this point a police officer had arrived and began to chase Waite, giving Jakiela the chance to escape. She too was carrying stolen items.

The officer eventually caught up with Waite, and was able to get him in handcuffs as she called for back up.

Jakiela then pulled up in a car, Waite pushed the officer and got into the passenger seat before being driven off.

Waite was eventually arrested a week later and admitted his part, telling police he had been able to get the handcuffs off by using a key.

They had stolen £100 worth of items but had caused £3,000 worth of damage.

Jakiela, of Northgate, Pontefract, admitted burglary.

Waite, of no fixed address, admitted burglary and escaping from custody. He also admitted a string of shoplifting offences throughout September of last year from Lidl, Aldi, B&M and Home Bargains in the Pontefract and Castleford areas.

Jakiela had also been involved in some of the shoplifting offences, but she was dealt with at Leeds Magistrates' Court, having been given a community order and ordered to undergo drug-dependency treatment.

Mitigating for Waite, Jeremy Barton said that his "entrenched history of drug use" was at the root of his offending, who has been convicted 33 times and jailed several times for robbery and shop thefts.

He said Waite's mother had died in September of last year and that triggered his crime spree, culminating in the shoplifting and the Poundland break-in.

Mr Barton said: "He realises that if he does not sort himself out, he will be dead or spend his life in prison."

Mitigating for Jakiela, Andrew Semple said she was mother-of-three and that drugs had also been an issue in her life.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QWC handed her an 18-month community order, and ordered to undergo drug rehabilitation for six months.

Waite, who was already being held on remand, was handed a 20-month jail sentence.