Jailed for breaking into baths and recreation centre

Jonathan Alan Furness
Jonathan Alan Furness

A burglar, who broke into Batley Baths and Recreation Centre, was traced after his DNA was discovered in blood on a vending machine which had been forced open.

Jonathan Alan Furness, 35, of Crabtree Avenue, Dale Lane Estate, Heckmondwike, ran off when police went to arrest him on April 19 but was found hiding in a cupboard at his mother’s address.

Leeds Crown Court heard one or more intruders got into the centre in Cambridge Road overnight between April 6 and 7 by jemmying open a first floor window.

The alarm system was disabled by smashing the alarm siren off the wall and they then made for the office where the CCTV cameras were also disabled after the wires were cut.

Austin Newman prosecuting said an untidy search was made of the office and various keys were taken which were used to open internal doors at the premises as the intruders progressed kicking in the doors where they had no key.

Vending machines in the reception area were forced open to get to cash boxes, although they had been emptied of most of the money the previous evening.

A laptop and holdall worth £525 were also stolen and an attempt was made to open the safe in the office before the raiders left through a rear fire door.

At the time Furness was under a community order for a handling offence.

Mark McKone representing Furness told the court drugs had been a problem for him.

Furness admitted the burglary and was jailed for 18 months.

Judge Guy Kearl QC said there had to be an immediate jail term.

Furness had an extensive record including theft and burglary and £1,500 damage was caused in the offence at Batley Baths.