Bungle burglar leaves wallet

editorial image

A bungling burglar who left his wallet at the scene of a break-in has been given one last chance to avoid being jailed.

Colin Bates, 34, was already subject to a suspended prison term for a previous burglary when he broke into the Spud’n’Stuff premises at the Halifax Borough Market, pictured above, in September.

During the overnight burglary Bates climbed onto the roof and removed the lead flashing and two panes of glass.

Prosecutor Imran Khan said Bates dropped down into the staff toilet area where he then removed a toilet and several floorboards before gaining access to the shop below.

Although Bates managed to steal a radio, a jacket and £400 in cash he dropped his wallet containing wage payslips and photographs.

Judge David Hatton QC noted that he wouldn’t have been too had to find after the break-in and when he heard that Bates had left his blood at the scene of his previous burglary at a hairdresser’s a year ago he added: “He’s not a very good burglar is he?”

Bates, of Bank Edge Gardens, Halifax, pleaded guilty to the latest burglary offence and his lawyer Anne-Marie Hutton said it was a depressingly familiar tale of recovery and then relapse into drug misuse.

She said Bates had been unable to work because of an injury and his “old habits” had got the better of him.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Bates had been in custody on remand since October 20 and Miss Hutton said he had had time to reflect on what he had done.

Judge Hatton said he was prepared to give Bates “one chance” by imposing a 15-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, but he warned him if he didn’t seize the opportunity he only had himself to blame.

As part of the sentence Bates will be subject to a “tagged” curfew between 9pm and 6am for the next four months and he will also have to comply with a 12-month drug rehabilitation order.