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Ravenscliffe burglar James Sharkey locked up for 22 months
4:22pm Thursday 26th August 2010 in Ravenscliffe
A burglar who sneaked into an 83-year-old man's bedroom and stole his gold watch as he slept was today locked up for 22 months.
James Sharkey, 20, a "three strikes" house breaker, was disturbed by the pensioner's son when he raided their home at dead of night.
He pleaded guilty to burgling the property in Rokeby Gardens, Greengates, Bradford, at 3.45am on February 13.
The court heard that the pensioner’s son saw Sharkey looking into his bedroom.
He chased him from the property and called the police after seeing obvious signs that his home had been searched.
A police dog followed a trail of stolen items, including a cuff link, a Leeds United Football Club pass and packs of alcohol.
Also picked up outside was a gold watch belonging to the man's father that was taken from the pensioner's bedside cabinet as he slept.
The haul included three more watches, keys and a wallet.
Sharkey had two previous convictions for house burglary when he was 15 and 16.
His fingerprint was found on an abandoned pack of stolen lager but he denied the offence until the householder identified him as the intruder.
Adam Birkby, Sharkey's barrister, said he had kept out of trouble for almost five years.
The court heard he turned to alcohol and amphetamine after the breakdown of a relationship.
The judge, Recorder Paul Isaacs, said it would be unjust to impose the three-year minimum jail sentence for a "three strikes" burglar.