A 20-year-old man has admitted being involved in a burglary which led to residents in a Bradford block of flats being made temporarily homeless after the fire service placed a prohibition notice on the unsafe building.

Kyle Butters, of Tees Street, Canterbury, Bradford, appeared before a judge at the city’s crown court this morning and pleaded guilty to burgling the City Exchange premises on Hall Ings and stealing copper wire between April 10 and April 13 this year.

Butters pleaded guilty on a basis which was said to be acceptable to the prosecution.

It is understood that other people were involved in the offence and it is believed that the damage caused ran into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Judge Jonathan Gibson told Butters that he had pleaded guilty to a serious offence, but it was right for his sentence to be adjourned for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

“You have no previous convictions and the court ought to have as much information about you as possible before sentencing you,” said Judge Gibson.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Butters will be sentenced on January 5 next year and he was granted bail until that hearing.

Back in April it was reported that up to 200 people had been left temporarily homeless after thieves stole cabling from the basement area of the block of flats.

Some residents were forced to sleep in cars while others slept on friends’ floors or sofas or had to move into hotels.

At the time the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said the power outage caused by the theft had affected safety systems in the building such as fire alarms, emergency lighting and the sprinkler system.

At the time, a spokesperson from the fire service said: "Acting on information provided by Bradford Council, Fire Protection Officers attended City Exchange on Wednesday.

"Upon arrival, it was evident that there was extensive damage to the electrical supply to the whole of the building following alleged cable theft."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

The spokesperson said Housing Standards, Environmental Health, Emergency Planning, Council representatives and police worked together to help tenants of the building find alternative accommodation. 

"The prohibition notice was issued under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Article 31, a notice under the Environment and Safety Information Act 1988," the spokesperson added. 

"The notice requires action to remove the imminent and immediate risk."

In the days after the incident, West Yorkshire Police encouraged anyone who saw anything suspicious to contact them. 

A spokesperson said: "Police are investigating a commercial burglary at an apartment block on Hall Ings.