Prolific South Yorkshire burglar who struck five times in nine days is jailed

A prolific South Yorkshire burglar who raided three homes and a hospital office in the space of nine days has been put behind bars.
A prolific South Yorkshire burglar who raided three homes and a hospital office in the space of nine days has been put behind bars.
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A prolific South Yorkshire burglar who raided three homes and a hospital office in the space of nine days has been put behind bars.

Shaun Battye had been released from prison for less than two weeks when he started a burglary spree on March 14 this year that today led to him being sent straight back to custody.

Prosecuting, Andrew Smith, told Sheffield Crown Court how Battye, aged 42, first struck at a property in Bennett Lane, Brinsworth on that date through an unlocked door at around 4.45pm.

One of the occupiers was at home at the time of the offence, and when they asked Battye, of no fixed abode, what he was doing he said he was dropping some bank cards off as requested by his partner.

Mr Smith told the court how Battye then gave the occupier a number of bank cards he had previously stolen from a woman's phone wallet.

The next burglary took place in Clifton, Rotherham on March 15, when Battye broke in just before midday. The owner returned at around midday and found the front door unlocked, despite locking it when he left the property. He later found Battye had taken a number of items from a jewelry box, including a men's Pulsar watch.

He next struck at an administration office at Rotherham General Hospital between midday and 4pm on March 17, when he stole a wallet from the pocket of a coat hung up in the office.

Battye stole £150 of cash that from the wallet, and used the bank cards to spend £20 and £35 at Wilkos and Tesco Express, respectively, later that evening.

He broke into another house in Rotherham on March 18 through an open door while the occupiers were upstairs, and stole bank cards from a wallet that had been left downstairs.

Battye used a bank card from the stolen wallet to spend £30 at Tesco Express on March 23.

He stole another wallet from a church administration office in Rotherham on March 24. Battye was arrested later that day after CCTV from a number of stores he had used the stolen bank cards in connected him to the string of burglaries.

Rebecca Tanner, defending, told the court how when Battye was released from prison for burglary offences in September 2016 he initially began to make progress thanks to the guidance of the probation worker he was assigned to.

However, that probation worker retired two months later which led to things 'falling away' for Battye, who was first brought before the courts for burglary offences aged just 12, and he missed at least one probation appointment.

This led to him being recalled to prison November for breaching the terms of his release.

Ms Tanner said that when Battye was released in March he was not offered any support or accommodation, and he subsequently ended up sleeping rough in Clifton Park during the time he committed the string of burglary offences.

He admitted a number of charges relating to those offences including four counts of burglary from a dwelling, two counts of burglary from a non-dwelling and three counts of fraud.

Judge Roger Thomas QC sentenced Battye to four years in prison.