Burglar who raided Harewood House Estate caught after leaving blood at the scene

Gheorghita Lacatus.Gheorghita Lacatus.
Gheorghita Lacatus.
A BURGLAR broke into a gamekeeper's lodge on the Harewood Estate, ransacked the property and stole copper piping.

Gheorghita Lacatus then fled the UK for three years when he was identified as the suspect for the break-in.

Leeds Crown Court heard Lacatus smashed a window to get into the property, within the grounds of Harewood House, in December 2014.

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Jade Edwards, prosecuting, said skirting boards were forced from the walls and other damage was caused in order to remove radiators and copper piping.

The total value of the material removed was around £2,000.

Police were contacted by security staff who discovered the offence.

Blood spots were found at the scene which linked Lacatus to the burglary.

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At the time of the break-in Lacatus was subject to a community order for stealing lead from roof coverings on the Harewood Estate.

Lacatus, of Kiln Lane, Dewsbury, was arrested and released on bail but refused to comment in interview.

He went on to commit shoplifting offences at Debenhams, in Harrogate, and Boots, in Huddersfield, later the same month.

Lacatus then returned to his home country of Romania and was arrested for the offences on his return to West Yorkshire.

He pleaded guilty to burglary and two offences of theft.

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Sajid Majid, mitigating, said Lacatus committed the offending because he could not find work and was struggling financially.

Mr Majid said Lacatus went back to Romania after committing the offences to attend his mother’s funeral.

The lawyer said Lacatus intended to return “to face the music” but stayed at home as his family needed help.

He was jailed for 18 months.

Judge Simon Phillips, QC, said: “”You have shown a complete disregard for the court.”

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