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Burglar jailed for six years after crime spree

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Mark Burnside.

00:00 Wednesday 20 January 2016

A BURGLAR has been jailed for six years for a crime spree in which he targeted schools, homes and business premises where he used to work. Leeds Crown Court heard Mark Burnside also committed fraud after he used a Post Office card to withdraw pension money belonging to one of his victims. A judge handed Burnside the lengthy sentence after hearing how he is a career burglar with a long criminal record for dishonesty.

Burnside, 35, committed the offences in Wakefield over summer last year. The court heard he he was caught on CCTV entering the the Memory Foam Warehouse in Navigation Yard. He left empty handed after searching the premises but left a finger print at the scene. The court heard Burnside had worked at the company two years earlier.

On August 6 he stole a handbag containing a lap top and 1,000 which belonged to a dance teacher from staff quarters at St Thomas-a-Beckett school. Burnside was seen riding a bike onto the premises and then leaving around the time of the theft. Burnside was also responsible for a break-in at International Procurement and Logistics, in Normanton. Specialist measuring equipment was taken from the premises and later found at Burnside s home.

The court heard Burnside had been for an induction day at the firm two years earlier. Burnside then stole jewellery, including a gold wedding ring, from a house on Duke of York Avenue, Agbrigg. He was linked to the offence when he sold the ring at a Cash Converters Store. He then used a Post Office card to withdrawn 240 of pension money belonging to the burglary victim. Burnside also targeted Castle Nursery School, Sandal and stole a teacher s bag which contained cash, cards and sentimental photographs.

He also terrified an 84-year-old woman after breaking into her home on Briar Grove, Sandal. He fled empty handed. Burnside pleaded guilty to five offences of burglary, one of attempted burglary and fraud. The court heard Burnside s offending started after losing his job as a forklift truck driver after failing a drug test. Burnside then began using crack cocaine and committed the offence to fund his addiction. He has 21 convictions for 32 previous offences.

Jailing Burnside, judge James Spencer, QC, said: The number of these offences and the type of offences suggest that you are a confirmed burglar.

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