A burglar and his girlfriend were planning a lavish wedding at a Yorkshire stately home funded by the proceeds of their crimes.
Ben Catterill and his partner Katie Henderson had been shown around Castle Howard, near York, while planning the wedding estimated to cost at least £30,000.
Despite having no legitimate income, the couple chose the venue’s most expensive package and paid more than £5,000 in deposits for the event which was originally scheduled to take place in September last year.
Their plans included a ceremony in the castle’s Great Hall with a string quartet followed by a reception with canapés, three-course meal and drinks for about 60 guests at £140 a head.
But what the venue’s staff didn’t know was that the pair were planning to fund their big day with the proceeds of burglaries at homes in affluent parts of the Leeds.
The couple’s life of crime came crashing down when they had an argument and Henderson called the police to say that her partner had been “bragging about doing burglaries on Millionaire’s Row”.
It can now be revealed that Catterill went on to have an affair with a prison worker while he was being held on remand at Armley jail in Leeds.
An investigation uncovered evidence that linked the pair to burglaries in Alwoodley, Tinshill and Farsley.
Their mobile phones were seized and incriminating text messages were found with Catterill making repeated references to “grafting” – a slang term for burglary – and the pair discussing the sale of £4,000 worth of gold jewellery and discussing holidays. Other enquiries showed they had been on expensive holidays and lived a luxury lifestyle without any legitimate source of income. Photographs were found on Henderson’s phone of luxury items stolen in the burglaries, including Louis Vuitton bags and a diamond ring.
Catterill pleaded guilty to two burglaries at addresses in the Tinshill and Alwoodley area of Leeds. He was also found guilty of a further offence of burglary and aggravated vehicle taking following a trial. An examination of his mobile phone uncovered videos of Catterill wearing a distinctive Lewis Hamilton Tag Heuer watch that had been stolen in the burglary in Tinshill.
Catterill, 32, of Victoria Avenue, Yeadon, was jailed for six years. The couple were sentenced in June this year but the case could not be reported as Catterill faced charges in relation to his affair in prison and a trial for assault.
Henderson, 29, Murray Drive, Middleton, was convicted of handling stolen goods and was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 300 hours of unpaid work.
Detective Inspector Neil Thompson, of Leeds District Crime Team, said: “The lavish lifestyle that Catterill and Henderson were living came at a very high human price for the burglary victims who had to suffer the indignity of having their homes invaded and their hard-earned possessions stolen.”