Kirklees Magistrates Court, Huddersfield.
Kirklees Magistrates Court, Huddersfield.
 

A guilty burglar returned a war hero’s medals – after reading press appeals for their return.

Several newspapers, including the Examiner, reported the break-in at the Thornhill property last week.

Items stolen included a Northern Ireland General Service Medal belonging to the 63-year-old owner.

He received the medal for his service in operations during The Troubles in the 1970s.

When burglar Mark Knight realised its sentimental value he left it hanging on the door of the house he targeted.

Northern Ireland General Service medal stolen during a break-in at a house in Valley Drive, Thornhill
Northern Ireland General Service medal stolen during a break-in at a house in Valley Drive, Thornhill
 

He faces a crown court judge after admitting burgling two of his neighbours’ homes on Valley Drive.

Kirklees magistrates heard yesterday that the first burglary happened on November 3.

Knight forced his way into the house at midday and also took a 40ins TV as well as a second medal.

Andy Wills, prosecuting, said: “The matter was reported to police and there was some press about the sentimentality of the medals.

“The defendant said he felt bad about this and returned them to the owner. He placed them in a bag and left it on the door handle.”

The next day Knight, 38, broke into a neighbouring bungalow belonging to an 89-year-old.

He removed a window to gain entry and took a television, a printer, laminator and some watches.

Knight – who has 60 offences to his name – was linked to the first offence after leaving a footmark with his Nike trainer.

He tested positive for having cocaine and opiates in his system following his arrest.

Paul Blanchard, mitigating said that his client reverted to type after coming off his methadone prescription.

He added of the burglaries: “He’s clearly shown significant remorse.”

Magistrates committed Knight to Leeds Crown Court for sentence on December 9.

He was remanded in custody.