A judge has apologised to a burglary victim – for giving the serial thief who robbed him a second chance 11 days earlier.
Judge Scott Wolstenholme admitted he had been overly optimistic by not sending persistent offender Steffan Jackson to prison when he had the chance – because Jackson committed another offence 11 days after letting him go.
The 18-year-old burglar broke into a pensioner's home less than two weeks after he had been handed a community order at Leeds Crown Court by the sympathetic judge.
At the hearing on March 20, Judge Wolstenholme told Jackson, who has been committing offences since he was 11, that prison was not the answer.
He said: "Nobody expects miracles but my minimum requirement is that you do not commit any further offences."
But 11 days later Jackson made off with £1,000 in cash after burgling the home of an 87-year-old.
Judge Wosltenholme has apologised to the elderly burglary victim for his leniency.
He said: "I was optimistic and, as it turns out, foolishly optimistic.
"Because of my optimism, I am afraid the victim has suffered a huge loss which he wouldn't have had if I had been doing my public duty last time."
The judge has now sentenced Jackson to four years in prison.