A father-of-three who took to the streets of Huddersfield with a placard looking for work has been jailed for three years for burglary.
Jason Allen, 37, was dubbed Gizza Job Man when he was spotted at traffic lights in Wakefield Road, Aspley, with a hand-written cardboard sign.
Allen, formerly of Eleanor Street, Fartown, brandished a sign saying: “Lookin for work. Do any type of job.”
His apparent enterprise last July was rewarded with several job offers but, now less than 12 months later, he is starting a lengthy prison sentence.
Allen, who recently moved to Tudor Road, York, admitted burglary at a house in Somerset Road, Almondbury, on February 13 this year.
Jailing him at Leeds Crown Court Judge Tom Bayliss told him: “You are a career burglar.”
The court was told how Allen was linked to the burglary by a blood-stained piece of plaster left at the scene. He also left behind a pair of ear muffs.
Jailing him for three years Judge Bayliss said the public had to be protected from his offending.
“Your record indicates unwillingness even in your 30s to rehabilitate yourself,” he said.
The sentence was consecutive to 28 days for failing to surrender to bail.
Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, told the court the occupant of the house, a student, had spent the night elsewhere returning home about 2.20pm on February 14 to discover a kitchen window had been prized open.
There had been an untidy search and £2,500-worth of property was stolen. Items included a TV, an iPad, a watch and also a treasured £850 Mulberry handbag.
Mr Ahmed said that was of great sentimental value to her as a number of people had clubbed together to buy it for her 21st birthday.
The student found the plaster on the living room floor and there was a footprint on the window ledge and the ear muffs which did not belong to her.
Allen was traced through his DNA and at that time denied the burglary. He had 41 previous convictions for 77 offences including previous for burglary.
Felicity Hemlin, for Allen, said the offence was opportunistic. There did seem to be a “slow down” in his offending which reflected a change in his circumstances.
He was the father of three children and cared for them deeply and knew they would miss him while he was in custody.
Last year Allen told the Examiner he had had various jobs including working at a turkey farm, in a chocolate factory and as a market trader.
He said he took to the roadside because he didn’t want to claim unemployment benefit.
“God loves a trier,” he told the Examiner at the time. “Signing on is not for me. I want to pay my way and look after my kids.”