Leeds burglar caught out by eagle-eyed homeowner

A brave homeowner has helped convict a repeat burglar after catching him in his own house

A man who carried out a burglary in Leeds has been jailed for two-years and eight-months after he was caught red-handed by the owner of the home he was in the process of robbing.

The homeowner, Phillip Mawson, was watching television with his wife in their living room on Saturday, March 5, when he noticed something in their kitchen out of the corner of his eye. He went to investigate and found a stranger rooting around inside his property.

The unknown man fled the house through the back door, but Mr Mawson was too clever and quick for the burglar, and caught up with him down the road after using a different route. Mrs Mawson remained in the house in order to protect their two children, who were upstairs at the time of the incident.

The brave Mr Mawson tackled the burglar, who claimed he had entered the wrong house while looking for a man who owed him money. The victim detained the thief with the help of his father-in-law, who lives locally, until the police arrived.

The culprit, Damien Atkinson, 35, finally admitted to “pinching” from the house when a laptop and mobile phone were found dumped nearby. He appeared in Leeds Crown Court, where the court heard he had 24 previous convictions for multiple offences, including burglary.

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