A Liversedge pensioner disturbed a burglar trying to climb into her home in the early hours of the morning – and when caught he told police he was a shoplifter, not a burglar.
It turned out that 24-year-old Jamie Chambers had a prolific record for stealing from shops to fund a drug addiction.
The 70-year-old victim had got up to go to the toilet around 5.30 am and was just returning to her bedroom where she had been sleeping with the window slightly open when she saw a man was reaching through it.
Paul Nicholson, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court that Chambers had climbed up trying to open the rest of the window and when she shouted at him he responded by saying “can you tell us the time” before running off.
The pensioner rang the police and Chambers’ fingerprints were subsequently found on the window. He was arrested and when he was interviewed denied he was a burglar and said he was a shoplifter.
The court heard he had a lengthy record for theft and Kate Batty for Chambers said that was how he funded a long-standing drug problem and had never before appeared before the court for a domestic burglary.
Although he had been decreasing his drug use under a community order he was under the influence that night and had no recollection of the events but accepted what had been said.
Chambers, 24 of Charlesworth Square, Gomersal, Cleckheaton, admitted burglary with intent at the address in Garden Avenue, Liversedge and was jailed for 18 months.
The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC told Chambers for his age he had “the most amazing record.”
“According to the summary there are 226 offences on some 66 separate appearances – they are for the greater part shoplifting. You have been stealing to fund your drug habit.
“But on this occasion you climbed into a different league, literally, when you tried to climb into the home of your 70-year-old victim.”
He said the court was well aware of the community impact of burglary offences in West Yorkshire.