A YORK burglar who was jailed after forensic evidence linked him to mobile phone footage taken by his victim died of a drugs overdose.

An inquest into the death of Lee Anthony Harding, of Bootham Square, York, heard he was staying with friends on October 29 last year when he was found unresponsive. He was 47.

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The hearing was at Northallerton Coroner’s Court this morning (February 26) and assistant coroner, Richard Watson, said Mr Harding was unemployed and he was single.

Mr Watson said: "Mr Harding had a long history of drug dependency. On October 28 it would seem he took an overdose of heroin and was found dead in the early hours of October 29.

"The medical cause of death was heroin overdose."

He concluded Mr Harding's death was drugs related.

The court heard that at the time of his death drugs and drugs paraphernalia were found at the address in Tennyson Avenue in Clifton where he'd stayed overnight.

As The Press reported at the time, Mr Harding was previously in court having broken into a property in St Hilda’s Terrace, York, early on June 25, 2019.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said at the time: “At around 5.15am, the victim saw a man leaving his property from a patio door directly below the balcony he was looking over and started to film him on his mobile phone.

“Shortly after, he saw the man leaving a neighbour’s property carrying a laptop and called the police. Harding was arrested shortly after by officers but refused to comment during police interviews.

“Clothing and footwear recovered from Harding at the time of his arrest matched clothing and footwear worn by the person in the victim’s mobile phone footage and he was charged with two counts of burglary.

“Forensic evidence was later used to conclude that Harding’s clothing showed a strong association to that worn by the person in the footage.”

After he was sentenced to four and a half years jail at York Crown Court, having pleaded guilty, investigating officer PC Andrew Chapman said the victim had been left "very shaken from the shock of seeing a burglar leaving his home" but he would like to praise the man for his quick thinking actions.

“His description allowed us locate and arrest Harding in just under 15 minutes and the mobile phone footage that he provided enabled us to link Harding to the crime,” he said.

“Whilst no one was hurt in this case, burglary has a devastating impact on victims and so I’m pleased with the sentence handed down today and satisfied that another burglar is now off our streets.”