Medals stolen- then returned - by Thornhill man

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A Thornhill man stole his neighbour’s priceless war medals before returning them the next day, leaving them hanging on the door handle, a court heard this afternoon.

Mark Knight, 38, appeared before Leeds Crown Court today after pleading guilty to burgling the houses of Alan Watson and his neighbour, a Mr Keegan, to help fund his drug addictions.

Knight, of Valley Drive, broke into the house of Watson on November 3, and stole a 40” Toshiba television worth £600 and two army service medals.

Despite not giving back the TV, Knight’s conscience got the better of him and he returned to Mr Watson’s house the next day, placing his war medals in a plastic carrier bag hooked onto his front door handle.

He went to Mr Keegan’s house that day and stole his television. He admitted his intention was to sell the items for money to fund his drug addiction.

Knight was arrested on November 9 when, after a half-hour conversation he had with police through a window, he was handcuffed by an officer and pulled from the window. During the incident, he apologised and admitted there were stolen goods in his house.

Prosecuting Knight, Jessica Strange read out a statement from Mr Watson which read: “When I was told it was a neighbour, I hoped that this was not the case, as I have helped him in the past. I have given him food and a settee.

“I feel very saddened that a neighbour was responsible for this. I don’t wish to live on the same street as someone that has done this to me.”

Defending Knight, Anastasis Tasou said: “He had generally been able to keep his various addictions under control until his methadone prescription had been withdrawn – we would then all have recognised someone who had been addicted to drugs for a number of years.

“He resorted to stealing to fund his addictions – this is not a reason, but it is an explanation as to what happened.”

The recorder Kate Tulk also took another 14 offences – admitted by Knight – into consideration stretching back to 2010.

Sentencing Knight to a total of 32 months in prison, recorder Tulk said: “You stole his TV and irreplaceable war medals but, I am pleased to say, your conscience got the better of you.”