A ‘THIRD-STRIKE’ burglar caught stealing treasured jewellery from a house in Ilkley has been jailed for more than two years.

Mark Little, 47, “grunted” and ran after he was confronted by neighbours who saw him climbing out of the property on Denton Road at around 8.30pm on April 13.

Prosecutor Paul Nicholson told Bradford Crown Court that Little stole a bag of jewellery - some of which had sentimental value to the owners of the house - a watch, and a multi-tool.

He was found by police within half an hour of the break-in, but denied the offence, claiming he had found the items, which were all later recovered.

Little, of The Oval, Otley, later admitted a charge of burglary.

The court was told he had 38 convictions for 85 previous offences, including two for domestic burglary.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, praised the “very brave and public-spirited” neighbours who had confronted Little and alerted police.

He said Little must receive the minimum three-year sentence for a ‘third-strike’ offender, reduced to 876 days in prison as a result of his early guilty plea.