Harrogate man jailed for burglaries that had 'significant psychological impact' on victims

A Harrogate man has been jailed for four and a half years for burglaries which had a 'significant financial and psychological impact' on the frightened victims.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 11:01 am
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 11:02 am

Michael Halligan, 58, of Bramham Drive, was caught after his fingerprint was found on a tea caddy in one of the homes he burgled.

He carried out two burglaries in the space of one week in September last year - the first on Cheltenham Mount, where Halligan had forced open one of the windows to steal a car key, £140 in cash from the victim’s wallet, an Accurist watch, and cash from a tea caddy placed on a windowsill. He exited though the back door, leaving it wide open.

The second burglary targeted a home on Ripon Road, where the resident woke up to find Halligan standing over him in his apartment. Halligan fled the scene through the same window he had gained entry through, but not before he had rifled through the victim’s belongings in the living room.

Michael Halligan, 58, of Bramham Drive, wascaught after his fingerprint was found on a tea caddy in one of the homes he burgled.

Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) examined the address of the first burglary and lifted a fingerprint from a tea caddy at the property. Tests later revealed it belonged to Halligan.

CCTV footage captured a man of the same build as Halligan near the second burglary around the same time. Clothing worn by the person in the footage was later seized from Halligan’s home address.

He was arrested, but refused to comment on a number of questions during police interviews.

After originally pleading not guilty to two counts of burglary, Halligan changed his plea at the start of the trail and was sentenced to four and a half years at York Crown Court on January 28.

Detective Constable Matthew Reeve of North Yorkshire Police’s Harrogate and Craven CID, said: “Waking up to find you have been burgled, or even worse, to find someone standing in your bedroom is one of the most frightening experiences that can happen anyone.

"This was an appalling crime committed on hardworking people for their personal possessions and money. The impact on the victims in this case has been significant, not only financially but psychologically.

“Halligan denied all knowledge and refused to take any responsibility for his crimes but thankfully, he was foiled after leaving behind a vital piece of evidence - his fingerprints.

“The sentence handed down by the judge today demonstrates the seriousness of Halligan’s offences. I hope the fact that he is now behind bars offers some reassurance to the victims and demonstrates to our communities North Yorkshire Police’s commitment to taking criminals like Halligan off our streets.”