Judge praises brave actions of PC called to burglary

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A judge has commended a lone police officer who bravely tackled two burglars during a house break-in in Halifax.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said he wanted the Chief Constable to be told about the brave actions of PC Barry Hartley who went into the house on Beechwood Road, Holmfield, after an alert neighbour had tipped off police about the mid-morning burglary.

PC Hartley detained Bradford father-of-four Richard Andrew despite a violent struggle, but his accomplice managed to get away with various property including jewellery belonging to a deceased relative and a selection of gallantry and service medals.

Judge Durham Hall said PC Hartley, who suffered some injuries as a result of the struggle, had given a very good account of himself and he wanted the Chief Constable to note his very high commendation for his actions and bravery.

Neighbour Jason Todd, who helped the officer to detain Andrew, was also commended by the judge and was awarded £250 from public funds.

Andrew, 30, of Crossdale Avenue, Buttershaw, was jailed for 32 months for his part in the burglary.

Bradford Crown Court heard how Andrew and his accomplice had used a hired BMW to travel to Halifax to commit the burglary in January.

Prosecutor Stephen Wood told the court that the intruders forced their way into the unoccupied house through a rear door and searched the property.

Mr Wood said PC Hartley arrived on the scene alone, but went to the rear door and was confronted by one of the startled intruders.

The court heard that the officer followed the man back into the house and then became aware of a second intruder.

Mr Wood said a violent struggle started between the officer and the two males as they attempted to escape.

Although one man, who has never been identified, managed to flee the scene, PC Hartley was able to keep hold of Andrew and with the assistance of Mr Todd the defendant was eventually restrained.

Mr Wood said although some of the stolen property was recovered three passports, three watches, the sentimental jewellery and the medals were still outstanding.

Judge Durham Hall was told that Andrew had been jailed for a house burglary in 2005 and he rejected a submission by his lawyer Anne-Marie Hutton to suspend the inevitable prison term.

Miss Hutton said Andrew, who pleaded guilty to the burglary charge at a preliminary hearing last month, had expressed genuine remorse and sorrow over the offence.

She said at the time Andrew had become unemployed due to health difficulties and was in dire financial circumstances.

Judge Durham Hall said it had been a deliberate, planned and targeted burglary and he had to impose a significant sentence of imprisonment.

The judge said Mr Todd had behaved admirably and he wanted to commend him in the highest terms.