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Career criminal jailed after stealing WWII ring

A CAREER criminal has been jailed after he ransacked a home and stole an irreplaceable WWII-era ring.

Jordan Cass, 28, broke into the property and stole a Mercedes Sprinter van, a handbag, mobile phone and the homeowner’s great-grandmother’s ring, a court was told.

Leeds crown court heard how Cass (pictured) broke a lock on the rear patio door to gain entry.

All the stolen items were later found except for the ring.

Jailing Cass for five-and-a-half-years, judge Geoffrey Marson QC told him: ‘A ring was taken belonging to the owner’s great-grandmother and has not been recovered.

‘It was of great sentimental value and it was a despicable thing to do.’

Prosecutor Beverley Wright said the homeowners heard the van’s engine start before it sped off in the early hours.

Miss Wright said: ‘There was a three-year-old child in the house and they were very anxious she may have walked downstairs when the individuals were in.

‘The ring had survived World War II and was taken in seconds, she was upset about that.’

Shortly after the burglary, police found the stolen van, as well as a Toyota Yaris taken in another house burglary.

Police searched the car and found a stolen phone with Cass’s fingerprints on it.

Miss Wright told the court how a day after the break-in, on March 3, the defendant assaulted a man in Leeds city centre, cutting his eye.

And on April 1, Cass stole a BMW 3 series from a woman after his then-girlfriend gave him the car keys, the court heard.

He crashed the BMW, causing £4,500 damage to the car and a fence.

Cass, of Armley, West Yorkshire, admitted burglary, handling the stolen Toyota Yaris, assault and theft of the BMW.

He has 21 previous convictions for 39 offences, the first of five burglaries when he was 13, and convictions for robbery and violence.

Kara Frith, mitigating, said Cass’s mother was murdered in a house fire when he was 14 and he had been brought up by his grandmother.

Miss Frith said he was told his grandmother was terminally ill, adding: ‘She has been the only constant in his life and he couldn’t cope.’