A night-time burglar who ransacked a building at the University of Bradford and went on to raid a mosque while on police bail has been spared an immediate jail sentence.

Mohammed Shaidur Rahman did £3,000 damage at the university’s Norcroft Centre for Chemical and Biological Analysis before he was caught red-handed making off with £5,000 of equipment, including microscopes and a digital camera.

Rahman, 30, of Spring Gardens, Manningham, Bradford, was arrested and released under investigation only to strike again a fortnight later at the Madinatul Uloom & Islamic Centre.

He broke into the centre, in Nesfield Street, Manningham, and was arrested in possession of a safe containing £650 in cash.

Prosecutor Syam Soni told Bradford Crown Court that Rahman got in through a window and smashed his way through a plasterboard wall to get to the safe.

He pleaded guilty to burgling the Norcroft Centre, on Richmond Road, on September 29 last year and burgling the mosque on October 17.

Robin Frieze, Rahman’s barrister, conceded in mitigation that they were serious offences that crossed the custody threshold but he urged Recorder Chris Smith to suspend the inevitable sentence of imprisonment.

Rahman had no previous convictions for burglary, the court heard.

However, he had breached a suspended sentence imposed in 2011, the court was told.

Mr Frieze said Rahman was in full-time employment working as a chef in Skegness.

At the time of the burglaries he was drinking heavily and leading a chaotic lifestyle after his brother was seriously injured in a road accident.

He no longer drank alcohol and he was leading a responsible life contributing to the family income.

He was deeply ashamed of what he had done and knew he had caused distress and inconvenience to both the university and the mosque.

“He feels a profound sense of shame and realises he must be punished, “Mr Frieze said.

But he had since turned his life around and there was a very high prospect of rehabilitation in his case.

Recorder Smith sentenced Rahman to 22 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.

He must do 150 hours of unpaid work.

Rahman was also ordered to pay the university and the mosque £1,200 compensation each.

Recorder Smith said Rahman had come very close to being locked up immediately.

He had caused £3,000 damage during each burglary, ransacking the Norcroft Centre and smashing the plasterboard wall at the mosque, which had already been targeted by other burglars in the previous month.

Both offences were committed at night when Rahman was under the influence of alcohol, the Recorder stated.

But he conceded they were close together in time when Rahman was under considerable stress.