A PROLIFIC crook who raided a house was caught out by his DNA after leaving behind a bottle of water and a Stanley knife.
Paul Smith, a 47-year-old drug addict, went on a crime spree which included the attack on the rented house in Temple Street, Nelson. In the break-in, he stole a man’s entire possessions – even his dirty washing. Smith’s victim, who had only moved into his new home that day, was so upset by what happened he moved from the property, Burnley Crown Court heard.
The defendant, who had been on a supervision order for burglary at the time, also invaded other properties, including garages and stole from cars.
Smith, of Carr Road, Nelson, was locked up for two years. He admitted burglary on November 3rd had been committed for sentence by magistrates and asked for 14 offences to be considered.
Mr Anthony Longworth (prosecuting) said the victim had left most of his clothing, including his dirty laundry, his DVD player, passport, work permit, driving licence and wallet containing £500 cash at the house and had gone to his brother’s home for the evening to use his laptop computer.
He returned home with his two housemates at about 1am and when he entered the property, he heard noises from the back. The victim found the rear door open and heard the back gate being slammed shut. Most of his belongings were missing and a yellow knife and a two-litre bottle of sparkling water were on the floor in the bedroom and sitting room and had not been there before.
Mr Longworth said police arrived and found Smith’s DNA on the mouth of the water bottle. He was arrested, denied all knowledge of the burglary, said two other people might have entered the property and claimed the DNA was not his. Smith had a long record, which included burglaries.
Mr Richard Taylor, for Smith, said: “He has many, many limitations and difficulties and drugs, literacy and accommodation are among these.”
Judge Beverley Lunt said Smith had a prolific record and struck within months of a supervision order for burglary. She told the defendant: “There must be an immediate custodial sentence to punish you to deter others and to reflect the criminality.”