A PERSISTENT ‘Hanoi’ burglar who was part of a gang that stole two cars from the driveway of a honeymooning Steeton couple has been jailed for four years.

Faizal Bahadur, 31, and a group of unidentified men targeted an Audi A3 and a Mini Cooper parked outside the empty house in Steeton on October 25 last year.

Prosecutor Louise Pryke told Bradford Crown Court that at around 7pm, the men snapped a lock on a kitchen door to gain access to the house and steal two sets of car keys. The group made off with the vehicles, with banned driver Bahadur behind the wheel of the Audi.

As he later drove towards Keighley along West Lane, Bahadur crashed into a parked Audi A6 before ricocheting into a garden wall on the opposite side of the road, which then fell onto and damaged a Nissan Micra.

Bahadur and another man were seen to get out of the car, with one witness stating they saw them leave the scene in the stolen Mini.

Miss Pryke said that the Audi was written off in the crash, and the Mini was never recovered.

Bahadur, of Horton Grange Road, Lidget Green, Bradford, was arrested around a month later on November 20, with his DNA found on the airbag of the Audi’s steering wheel.

He pleaded guilty to charges of burglary and driving while disqualified on the day of a proposed trial.

Simon Hustler, in mitigation, said Bahadur had only been banned from driving as he had yet to re-sit his test following a previous driving offence. He said his client was “ashamed” of his actions and had been making an effort to “go straight”.

Mr Hustler said: “He is something of the black sheep of the family. He knows it is time to grow up.”

The court heard that Bahadur’s conviction was his fifth for Hanoi burglaries – snapping locks to gain entry to homes and then stealing cars from the properties – following his most recent sentence of 32 months in prison for that offence in May 2015.

Recorder Tahir Khan QC said the method was a “theme running through” Bahadur’s previous convictions, which he labelled as a “very bad record”.

He said that as this was the defendant’s fifth time before the courts for burglary, he qualified for the minimum ‘three-strike’ sentence of three years.

He told Bahadur: “The public expect people who commit these offences to go to prison. The offending was planned and professionally executed. You are a persistent burglar, and a significant prison sentence is called for.”

On his release from custody, Bahadur will be banned from driving for 18 months.