Suspended jail sentence for man who burgled neighbours’ home

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A 31-year-old man who carried out a drunken break-in at his neighbours’ home in Halifax has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Judge Jonathan Rose described Lee McDermott night-time attack on the Boothtown house in June as “mean and nasty” and promised to jail him for 16 months if he failed to comply with the terms of his suspended sentence.

Bradford Crown Court heard how the early hours burglary was captured on CCTV equipment in the area.

The footage showed McDermott taking a stolen £800 Samsung television back into his own home nearby.

At the time of the burglary McDermott’s female neighbour was asleep in bed and Judge Rose said she would have been terrified if she had woken up to find him in the house.

In fact the police investigation only began after McDermott himself rang the police to say he thought his neighbours’ home had been burgled and he had seen some unknown males running off with a television.

McDermott, now of Union Street, Sowerby Bridge, was then arrested after the CCTV footage from a camera in the Iona Street area was recovered and examined.

He claimed during his police interview that his drink had been “spiked” and he had no involvement in the offence, but when his case came before the Calderdale magistrates he pleaded guilty to the burglary charge.

Judge Rose said McDermott had targeted the house after falling out with his neighbours and had decided this was a way to get his revenge.

The judge suspended McDermott’s 16-month jail sentence for two years, but he said he would also have to do 240 hours unpaid work for the community and comply with a rehabilitation activity requirement.

McDermott must also pay the complainants £800 in compensation for the television which had not been recovered.

The judge warned McDermott that if he didn’t take the chance he was being given he would send him to prison without a second thought.