Man jailed for six-month thieving spree across Harrogate, Knaresborough and Scarborough

Ryan Mulvaney. Picture: North Yorkshire Police (s).
Ryan Mulvaney. Picture: North Yorkshire Police (s).

A career burglar who went on a six-month thieving spree to fund his drug habit has been jailed for five years.

Ryan Mulvaney, 42, broke into homes in Harrogate and Knaresborough where he stole items including bank cards which he later used to defraud shops, York Crown Court heard.

Mulvaney, who has previous convictions for over 100 offences, was carrying a knife when he raided one property in Harrogate on December 4 last year.

High on drink and drugs, he crept upstairs looking for items to steal, before taking the keys to the owner’s car and driving off through residential streets at ludicrous speeds, said prosecutor Stephanie Hancock.

During the ensuing police chase, Mulvaney mounted a pavement and caused damage to a car, she added.

He was eventually stopped and asked to undergo a drink-drive test but refused to go through with the procedure. While in custody, police found Class A drugs on him.

Ms Hancock said that Mulvaney stole purses and a handbag in two other house raids and targeted shops in Harrogate and York where he used debit cards stolen in the burglaries to buy goods.

The court heard that Mulvaney, from Harrogate but of no fixed address, was part of a criminal gang who were using the bank cards to commit fraud.

He also stole £40 of meat from Sainsbury’s in Harrogate in July which he sold on to buy drugs.

His thieving spree extended to Scarborough, where he stole meat products from a Co-op store.

On November 19, he travelled to York in a car with false number plates and targeted a Tesco store, where he stole high-value items.

Others had joined Mulvaney on the thieving trip and they had planned for the defendant to go into the store while a getaway vehicle waited outside.

On the first occasion, Mulvaney left store with a £500 TV. On a second occasion, he came out clutching a £400 coffee machine.

In December, Mulvaney went into The Original Breakfast Box café on Knaresborough Road, Harrogate, where kind-hearted staff treated him to food at a discounted price because he appeared destitute.

But the unscrupulous thief reached over the counter and snatched over £700 in cash which he used to fund his addiction.

In December, police put out a media appeal to catch Mulvaney who was arrested and remanded in prison.

He appeared for sentence on Tuesday via video link after admitting a “raft” of offences including burglaries, possessing a knife, shop thefts, fraud, dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

Two other offences were taken into consideration.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC branded Mulvaney’s offences “mean” and told him: “You have wasted half your life on crime and increasingly-lengthy prison sentences.

“Your offending can be traced back to your addiction to Class A drugs and you funded your addiction through acquisitive crime.”

As well as the five-year jail sentence, Mulvaney was banned from driving for four-and-a-half years.