Man jailed after burglars set fire to Savile Town warehouse

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A man has been jailed for his role in a £4,000 burglary and arson attack on a Savile Town warehouse.

Shamas Zahid, 24, broke into a warehouse unit on Mill Street East, with three accomplices and stole £2,000 of equipment before the group set light to the building with petrol, which cause a further £2,000 of damage.

And a few days after the break-in Zahid assaulted a college student on Savile Road who he said owed him £15.

Glen Parsons, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court this week that the owners of the building, which was due to be converted into a football pitches, changing rooms and a bar, received a call from the fire brigade on the morning of May 17.

They discovered entry had been forced by the removal of a large wooden board.

Tools, including a petrol-powered concrete cutter, had been taken, and doors, frames and pipes had been piled up and set alight with petrol.

Zahid, of Ward Street, Crackenedge, Dewsbury, was identified by the DNA from a bloody fingerprint left on a door.

He was said to be one of four men who were seen approaching the warehouse on the night of May 16.

Anastasis Tasou, mitigating, said Zahid told him he was not the one that started the fire, but did admit to adding wood after it was started,

He said: “He accepts he is just as guilty as if he had struck the match. It was nothing other than a stupid and senseless act for the amusement of the other people in the building.”

He added that the refurbishments to the warehouse unit had not yet begun.

The court also head that on May 20, before he had been picked up by the police, Zahid assaulted a man in Savile Road who he said owed him money.

Mr Parsons said Zahid appeared from behind a 4ft wall and shoved the victim in the chest with both hands causing him to fall to the ground, although he was not injured.

Mr Tasou said: “He pushed him out of frustration because he owed him the £15.”

Jailing Zahid for 20 months at Leeds Crown Court, Judge James Spencer QC said setting the building alight was an act of “wanton destruction”.

“It is a serious offence for which there is to be a custodial sentence,” he said.

“And only a few days later you pushed someone around.”

Zahid was sentenced to 18 months for the burglary and arson, and two months for the assault to run consecutively.