A CAREER criminal used air conditioning pipes during a hotel burglary to get to the rooftop because he was believed to have “inside information” about the location of the finance office.
Mark Oxley, 48, of Ebor Place, Leeds, received a suspended sentence for the burglary at the Holiday Inn, Bradford and traveling in a stolen vehicle on May 25 this year.
Bradford Crown Court heard Oxley had 20 previous convictions for more than 50 offenses and was described as a ‘career criminal’ by Mr Kenneth Green, for the prosecution.
But Mr Recorder Simon Myerson QC gave him a chance as a new ‘significant factor’ – his new partner he cares about – entered his life.
The sentence was 15 months in prison, suspended for two years, with nine months of substance abuse rehabilitation and 27 days of rehabilitation activity to be performed.
At 3:15 a.m. on May 25, an Audi stolen two days earlier from a home, was spotted on CCTV arriving in the back parking lot of the Holiday Inn, by an overnight security guard, for what the prosecution said targeted burglary.
The security guard saw two men – wearing balaclavas and gloves – leave the vehicle and use the air conditioning hoses to climb onto the roof of the building, the court heard.
Mr Green said: ‘Both men eventually gained access to the hotel’s finance office which suggests they received inside information.’
The police arrived and the burglars used the fire escape to escape but Oxley was caught.
Money from a safe in the finance room had been taken – amounting to £7,100.
Police searched a brushy area of the parking lot where Oxley was grabbed and found a plastic bag containing the stolen cash.
Tom Jackson, Oxley’s defense attorney, said he was surrounded by crime in Armley and involved in bad mobs, but met his new partner in August last year and moved to Morley to a new start.
But Oxley had a problem with his benefits, which meant he was left with less money and it was causing him mental health problems.
Mr Jackson said: ‘Someone in Armley managed to track him down, the kind of person he was trying to get away from.
“He contacted him about this job when he was understandably at his lowest.”
Mr Myerson said Oxley had had a number of chances through the courts in the past, but this could be his last.
He added: “If you can’t deal with it now you will die in prison because that’s what happens to middle aged people, you know that as well as I do in prison.”