One-legged man jailed for stealing bikes

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A ONE-LEGGED burglar has been jailed for 18 months after he was caught stealing high value bikes from car parks.

Craig Furness lost a lower limb as a result of injuries in 2005 when he was thrown off a building after a fall out “in the criminal fraternity” Adrian Pollard representing him told Leeds Crown Court yesterday.

When she heard that Furness now uses a prosthetic limb in replacement, Judge Penelope Belcher commented “well it still enables him to break into underground car parks and steal bikes doesn’t it”.

Louise Pryke, prosecuting, said on September 9 last year Furness got into the secure underground car park at The Quays in Concordia Street, Leeds and used a hacksaw to remove three bicycles worth £9,000 which had never been recovered. He was later linked to the burglary by his DNA on a drinks bottle left behind.

The following month he sneaked into student accommodation at the Opal building in Jacob Street, Leeds when someone else gained access using the keycodes and stole a £600 bike.

On November 15 he went into an office block at Sovereign House and used bolt croppers to remove a security lock on a mountain bike worth £440 but was seen and detained by a security guard.

Mr Pollard told the court Furness had committed the burglaries after a cousin of his was threatened to pay off a drug debt, and after he was seen at that man’s house the threats were extended to him to help get the money owed.

Furness, 37 of Rigton Lawn, Leeds admitted the three burglaries and was told by Judge Belcher with his previous dishonesty record only immediate prison was appropriate.