Desperate burglar '˜unable to claim benefits' raided two Leeds homes

A TEENAGE burglar who raided two homes within an hour near his own address in the Burley area of Leeds has been jailed for more than two years.

Reece Bowler, of Beechwood Mount, Burley, was jailed for two-years-and-five-months after he admitted two charges of burglary.

Prosecutor, Duncan Ritchie said Bowler, 18, got in to a student house on Beechwood Mount through an open window at around 12.30pm on October 30 before stealing a £1,400 laptop.

Mr Ritchie said around half-an-hour later Bowler got into a house on Lumley Road through an open window before stealing a woman’s handbag containing a purse, mobile phone, credit cards and chequebook.

Bowler’s fingerprints were found at both crime scenes.

Mitigating, Hashim Grenan, said: “These offences were borne out of desperation. At the time he was unable to claim benefits. The property had no electric or gas. This was simply to feed himself and provide some heat.”

The court heard Bowler has been before the courts on 24 previous occasions for 37 offences, including three burglaries.

Sentencing Bowler, the Recorder of Leeds Judge Peter Collier QC told him: “I accept the circumstances you were in were not particularly helpful for you at the time, but the bottom line is there is no alternative to a custodial sentence in this case.”