Damien Wood admits burgling Mirfield's Hollybank School for children with special needs

Chariman of bench, Brian Hughes, lambasts him for his actions

Kirklees Magistrates Court, Huddersfield.

A man who burgled a special needs school was given a public dressing down in court for his “unacceptable” crime yesterday.

Damien Wood, 37, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to entering Hollybank School, Mirfield, in the early hours of May 23 and stealing a TV, an HP laptop computer and confectionery worth £861.34.

Prosecutor Ben Smith told Kirklees Magistrates’ Court a school employee found the defendant on that day had hired a taxi but the driver was suspicious and later confirmed that his passenger was the man arrested.

The court also heard that in the early hours of April 27 he had also been arrested over a similar matter in Bradford and had 24 convictions for more than 40 offences many of them for burglary.

In mitigation, Paul Blanchard, said his client’s mind had been “fragile” at the time of the offences as he reeled from the shock of his stepdaughter’s death.

Apart from that he said he presented a “relatively positive picture”.

Chairman of the bench, Brian Hughes, told him: “For anyone who chooses to enter Hollybank School, a special needs school, that is just not acceptable, full stop.”

The case was adjourned while a probation report is prepared.

Wood was granted conditional bail and told to appear back at court on July 28 when he will be sentenced.

He was told to cooperate with the drugs intervention service and to stay at his mother’s address in Dewsbury.

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