A man has been jailed for nine months for burgling Odsal Stadium – then home to the Bradford Bulls – and causing wanton damage of £20,000.
Three intruders smashed glasses in the bar at the Southbank Stand and deliberately damaged a large television set, laptops and projectors in the overnight raid on July 31, 2018.
One of the burglars, Kyle Gandy-Feeney, was netted by the police after leaving his DNA on a bottle of gin he was caught on CCTV swigging from behind the bar.
He pleaded guilty to the burglary and was jailed at Bradford Crown Court today on a video link to HMP Leeds.
Since committing the offence, he had been sentenced to two years’ detention for an attempted robbery, the court was told. After he was released, he breached the conditions of his licence and was locked up again.
Prosecutor Maryam Ahmad said the stadium was left secure the day before the break-in which was discovered at nine o’clock the following morning.
A balcony window had been smashed and broken items were strewn all over the floor.
The intruders had helped themselves to drinks behind the bar and caused wanton damage before escaping with four Apple iPads.
The court heard that club officials reported that the stadium had been repeatedly targeted by burglars and they could not afford to replace the high-value stolen and damaged items.
Miss Ahmad said it was a Category One burglary committed by a group of intruders who caused deliberate damage.
She conceded the considerable delay in bringing the case to court, saying it was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service by the police in September last year.
Ayman Khokhar said in mitigation that Gandy-Feeney, now 21, was 19 at the time. It was more than two years since the burglary and he had been dealt with for other offences since then.
In December, 2018, he was sent to a young offender institution for two years for an attempted robbery. After he was released, he was recalled to custody for breaching the terms of his licence by not residing at the hostel where he was ordered to live.
Mr Khokhar said Gandy-Feeney, whose address is listed as HMP Leeds, was now keen to rebuild his life.
“He wants to find work and put his offending behind him,” he said.
Judge Andrew Hatton told Gandy-Feeney the burglary had caused “significant community impact.”
“The place burgled was a very important part of the local community,” he said.
But there had been significant delay in bringing the case to court that remained largely unexplained.
Gandy-Feeney had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had since served a custodial sentence.
The Telegraph & Argus publicised an appeal for help to catch the burglars at the time.
A club spokesman said that computers used as part of the training for the Bulls’ Academy were taken.
Items wrecked included the club’s first aid and resuscitation equipment – including its defibrillator.
Other vandalism was also committed in the stand, which housed the club’s hospitality and events facilities, and important and historic images and memorabilia.