A burglar found trying to break into a house in Dalton has been jailed for 13 months.

Leeds Crown Court heard the householder had just moved into the detached house in Wakefield Road and was doing renovations.

As a result some of the surplus building materials and old wooden cabinets had been thrown out into the garden.

Around 5pm on March 14 the victim heard some banging noises and went out to investigate.

Heather Gilmore, prosecuting, said he found William Mackay McLaughlin from Berry Brow sitting on the steps leading to a porch banging his feet against the door which had a crack in it.

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When he was asked what he was doing he jumped to his feet and claimed he was looking for some timber to make something at home. The householder pointed out there was already some in the garden but was suspicious and went to phone the police.

He met a neighbour and got her to do it while returning to McLaughlin and when officers arrived they realised some wood had also been wedged into the door in addition to the crack. McLaughlin then claimed to have been doing work in the area such as cleaning gutters.

The court heard at the time he was on licence from a prison sentence for burglary imposed last year.

Mark Brookes, representing him, said on his release he had mixed with people who were criminally inclined and developed a low level drug habit. He had been doing odd jobs that day and the offence was spontaneous when he thought the property was unoccupied.

McLaughlin, 39, of Holme Park Court, Berry Brow , admitted attempted burglary after Judge Christopher Batty said he had a poor record and “it does not help you were on licence for burglary at the time.”