Mark Devine, 40, who stole thousands of pounds’ worth of items belonging to members of a dance class after breaking into changing rooms at Leeds University, has pleaded guilty to offences of burglary.
He initially forced entry to the mechanical engineering building and took a camera and charger from a staff room. Devine then entered changing rooms in “Stage@Leeds”, the performing arts building.
He stole mobile phones, jewellery, and debit cards from bags of members from a dance class. Devine hid the stolen property in a bag before fleeing the scene and boarding a bus.
One of the members of the dance class had activated a tracking software on an iPhone Devine had stolen. They proceeded to contact the police and, using tracking software, the police were able to locate Devine and arrest him.
Leeds Crown Court learned that he had been released from prison two weeks before he carried out the burglary on campus.
He had been previously been in prison for burglary offences. Stuart Field, mitigating for Devine, said that he had “reverted to type” after being released from prison. According to Mr Field, Devine had been offered help from a charity but they were unavailable when he went to ask them for some food.
Devine was sentenced to 12 months in jail on the 2nd December. Recorder Nicholas Barker told him during sentencing that “[i]t seems to me that given your record, which is very poor, it is quite out of the question for me to pass a sentence other than immediate custody.”