Man who burgled two Harrogate homes in a week is jailed for four and a half years

A burglar, who was caught after his fingerprint was found on a tea caddy in one of the homes he burgled, has been jailed for four years and six months.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 3:38 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 3:38 pm

Michael Halligan, 58, has been jailed for two burglaries carried out in the space of a week in Harrogate in September last year.

In the first, the homeowner awoke on September 15 to find his home on Cheltenham Mount had been burgled.

Michael Halligan was arrested after police found a single fingerprint on a tea caddy in one of the homes which was burgled.

Halligan had forced open one of the windows to steal a car key, £140 cash from the victim’s wallet, an Accurist watch and cash from a tea caddy placed on a windowsill before exiting though the back door, leaving it wide open.

Six days later at around 6.20am on September 21, a homeowner on Ripon Road woke to find Halligan standing over him in his apartment.

Halligan fled the scene through the same window that he’d gained entry but not before he had rifled through the victim’s belongings in the living room.

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 of Bramham Drive, Harrogate changed his plea at the start of the trial and was sentenced to four and a half years at York Crown Court on Tuesday, January 28 for two burglaries.

Commenting on the sentence, Detective Constable Matthew Reeve of North Yorkshire Police’s Harrogate and Craven CID – the team that led the investigation 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.”

What to do if you have been burgled

North Yorkshire Police says you should ring 999 if you believe the offender is still in your house or has just run away, if not use the 101 number. You will be given a crime number to quote in an insurance claim, or if you want to contact police with any follow-up queries.

Try to preserve the crime scene for any forensic evidence that may be of use to the police. If possible, do not touch anything or allow your children or pets into the same rooms that the burglar has been in.

For more advice visit northyorkshire.police.uk/homesecurity