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Liam Higham stole from nun who tried to help him

Man forced his way into house and stopped woman calling police

Blacker Road, Birkby, Huddersfield.

A trainee nun was burgled by a man just an hour after offering him a helping hand.

The woman took pity on Liam Higham and gave him £20 after he knocked on her door and fed her a sob story about his mother being sick.

But he repaid her kindness by returning to her Birkby home an hour later, forcing his way in and running off with some of her belongings.

Higham, of Rook Street in Huddersfield, pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary when he appeared at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court in custody.

Prosecutor Ben Crosland said that he went to the woman’s home in Blacker Road at 5.30pm on December 14. She answered and found Higham on her doorstep, who was a stranger to her.

Mr Crosland said: “He told her he’d just moved into an address nearby and said he needed some money to get to see his mum who was ill. The woman, who was in the process of becoming a nun, took pity on the defendant and gave him £20.

“She said: ‘Consider this to be a Christmas present but don’t come back as I can’t give you any more’.”

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But an hour later Higham, 26, returned to the house and the victim again answered the door.

Mr Crosland said: “He said: ‘Can I come in for a chat?’ and she said no.

“He asked to borrow £60 until the following day, she said no and tried to push the door closed. The defendant pushed the door, forcing it open and being very insistent about coming into her home.”

Higham entered, telling the woman: “Don’t be stupid, put the phone down” when she tried to call police.

He then headed to a coat rack by the door, knocked the coats to one side and grabbed a Reebok bag containing some sports equipment. Higham ran off with the bag but police caught him nearby. He struggled with the officers during his arrest and his victim had to take part in an identity parade at the police station to confirm his responsibility for the burglary.

Higham also admitted stealing two bottles of cider from a shop in King Street on February 23.

Mike Sisson-Pell, prosecuting, said that his client had developed an alcohol and substance misuse problem.

He told magistrates: “He commits stupid offences when he’s either in drink or under the influence of drugs and that’s become his problem.”

Magistrates committed Higham’s case to Leeds Crown Court for sentencing on March 29.

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