A hapless thief caught on film by the very security cameras he was stealing was arrested within hours of the photographs being exclusively published in the Telegraph & Argus.

And yesterday Christopher Cunningham, 22, received swift justice as he appeared before Bradford magistrates to plead guilty to the theft.

Cunningham, who lives with his parents in Ackworth Street, West Bowling, was captured after he spent four hours unscrewing four CCTV cameras from the walls of the former Listers Arms pub in Manchester Road.

He was arrested by police on Wednesday evening within hours of the images – which clearly identify him – being published in that day’s T&A and repeated in other newspapers yesterday.

Probation Service officer Karl Horsman, who interviewed Cunningham after he had entered his plea, told the court he had shown great remorse for his actions.

He said: “Obviously what further brought it home to him was the fact that he is across the local and national newspapers and he is very embarrassed about that."

Mr Horsman told magistrates Cunningham, who drank eight to nine cans of lager a day and was unemployed, had been assessed for an alcohol treatment programme in the city.

Bench chairman Colin Robinson sentenced Cunningham to a 12 month community order with 12 months’ supervision by the Probation Service and ordered him to pay £520 in compensation.

He also ordered Cunningham to attend an alcohol treatment programme.

In mitigation, solicitor Shazad Dad said his client was extremely sorry for the theft.

After the case, solicitor Amjad Ali, who owns the former pub which is to be converted into offices, welcomed the sentence.

He said: “I’m pleased that the matter has come to an end. Hopefully he’s learnt his lesson. I do hope that he sees the light and becomes a valuable member of the community. I hope he learns from his mistake and does whatever he needs to do to find a job."

  • Read the full story Friday’s T&A