A SERIAL burglar caught rifling through bags in the Legends Suite at Bradford City Football Club has been jailed for 11 months.

Azaz Sheikh, 33, of Nearcliffe Road, Heaton, Bradford, was caught red-handed in the hospitality area at Valley Parade on October 13 last year, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

He struck on a Saturday when there was no football match and the stadium was closed.

Sheikh walked away when challenged by a suspicious cleaner in the Legends Suite on the second floor.

However, he was detained by staff in the 1911 Suite later the same day, prosecutor Emma Downing said.

Sheikh went on to twice burgle the Provident Financial Group building on Godwin Street, in Bradford city centre, while on bail and on prison licence, the court heard.

He was caught in the mail distribution room shortly before 7pm on January 19, the court was told.

He and a male accomplice had sneaked into the seven-storey building through a rear fire door, setting off an alarm that alerted the security guards.

The second man made good his escape but Sheikh, who pretended to be an employee at the premises, was detained by the guards when he failed to produce any identification.

He tried to run off and pleaded: “I’m a drug user. I need the money. Please let me go,” Miss Downing said.

The police attended and Sheikh was found to be in possession of a cash box he had stolen from the building.

One of the security guards, Nazam Hussain, recognised the defendant as the intruder caught on CCTV burgling £400 in cash from the mail distribution room five days earlier.

The money was never recovered.

Sheikh, who made no comment to police questions, had 20 convictions for 45 offences, Miss Downing told the court.

In April last year, he was sentenced to two years imprisonment for seven offences of burglary and one of criminal damage.

He pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal at the football ground and to two burglaries at the Provident headquarters.

Those offences took place on January 14 and 19.

Ian Howard, Sheikh’s barrister, said his client was a drug user on recall to prison.

He had a chronic heroin and cocaine addiction that sucked away all his money, the court heard.

Sheikh was now drug free and keen to go home to his family.

Judge Colin Burn jailed Sheikh for five months for the Valley Parade offence and for three months each for the Provident burglaries, the sentences to run consecutively.