Burglar targeted late judge’s home

A BURGLAR who broke into the house of the late Judge Pickles has been sentenced.

Mark De Luca, of no fixed abode, was in drink at the time of the attempted robbery, a matter of months after the former judge had died.

The 19-year-old was with friends when they decided to try and break into the house on Heath Road, Halifax .

Calderdale Magistrates Court heard that a relative of Judge Pickles had locked up the house on April 27.

They returned on May 5 to find plastic chairs pushed up to a window that had been smashed.

The court heard that De Luca had punched the window through and removed glass from the frame.

He then reached inside to try and open the door.

The house’s alarm went off and the group promptly fled the scene without stealing anything.

De Luca was identified by fingerprints he had left on the window frame.

He was arrested shortly afterwards and interviewed by police.

He admitted the burglary but refused to name any other party involved.

Mark Newell, defending, said De Luca was extremely ashamed of the way he behaved.

“He believes he has reached his lowest ebb,” said Mr Newell.

“He is now determined to sort himself out.”

De Luca also pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing a bottle of whisky from Marks and Spencer, Halifax.

He committed that offence whilst on bail for the burglary.

Magistrates sentenced him to 20 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

He will also be subject to an 18 month supervision order and placed on a binge drinking programme.