Career criminal who targeted Sheffield school branded ‘menace’

A veteran burglar who broke into a Sheffield school and stole two lap top computers was branded a ‘social menace around Sheffield’ by a judge who jailed him for two years.

Daniel Wilson, aged 48, sneaked into Ann’s Grove Primary School in Heeley and stole the equipment to sell on so he could feed his drug habit.

Sheffield Crown Court heard he had an ‘appalling’ criminal record of 112 offences which included 28 burglaries.

He has been jailed twice before for break-ins.

Sending him to prison again Judge Robert Moore told him: “You have become a social menace around Sheffield in recent years stealing from buildings to buy drugs for yourself.

“It is time for the sentences to become longer to protect local people from having their items stolen.”

The court heard Wilson specialised in stealing electrical items which he found were easy to sell to buy drugs.

He sneaked in to the school about 4.45pm on July 10 after staff and pupils had left.

CCTV footage recovered by the police showed him walking through the playground and trying entrance doors.

He eventually got in through the children’s entrance and went upstairs where he stole the headteacher’s laptop and another computer from a classroom worth £620 in total.

The footage showed him coming downstairs with a bag he did not have with him when he went upstairs.

He was arrested a week later still wearing the same clothing, said David Wain, prosecuting.

Richard Jepson, defending, said although Wilson had a poor record, custody had not worked before as he had gone back to his old ways.

He said Wilson had not used any equipment to enter the school and there had been no planning.

He had not long been out of prison at the time of the offence and was destitute with no benefits.

Wilson, of no fixed address, admitted burglary.

Judge Moore said he rejected the defence submission that Wilson did not deliberately target the school.

“You clearly waited until you thought you could get into the building,” he said.

“The laptops must have been valuable to the school and neither laptop was recovered and you wouldn’t say where they went.”