Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
‘Third-strike’ house breaker looked up for 30 months for attack on young man
by Michael Black T&A Reporter A burglar who hit a brave householder with an iron after he was caught in the act has been locked up for 30 months.
Waqas Shah, 20, was challenged by Ricardo Censani after he was alerted by his barking dog and found the defendant trying to climb out of a bedroom window.
Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday how the 25-year-old tried to restrain Shah and shouted to his 62-year-old mum, Adele, to call the police.
Prosecutor Tom Gent said as the pair struggled Shah told the householder: “Let me go or I’ll kill you.”
Shah then picked up a clothes iron and struck out at Mr Censani’s head at least eight times.
The iron was broken in the attack and Mr Censani fell to his knees. He was punched in the face before releasing his grip on the intruder.
Mr Gent said Shah escaped from the house in Thornton Road, Bradford, but he left his baseball cap behind and DNA from hair samples linked him to the offence.
After his arrest Mr Censani’s mother picked out Shah during identification procedures.
Mr Censani suffered cuts to his forehead, left calf and lip as well as bruising and swelling to his head during the attack in June last year.
Shah, of Hollings Terrace, Girlington, eventually pleaded guilty to charges of burglary and assault when his case was listed for trial and yesterday Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC was told that he was a so-called “third strike” burglar because he had two previous convictions for break-ins at houses.
Barrister Adam Birkby, for Shah, said his client was realistic about his sentence, but he pointed out that Shah had not committed any further offences in the past 15 months and had now got work at a petrol station.
Mr Birkby said the offence was motivated by Shah’s cannabis addiction at the time and since then he had taken steps himself to overcome his drug problem.
Judge Durham Hall said Mr Censani had very bravely tried to detain Shah and mercifully his injuries were relatively minor although still shocking nonetheless.
The judge sentenced Shah to two years in a young offenders institution for the burglary offence with an extra six months in custody for the assault.