Burglar snared by blood

A SERIAL burglar was snared after leaving traces of his blood at his last break-in.

Shaun Murray, 24, was jailed for more than two years at Teesside Crown Court for ripping a 1,000 boiler from an empty house.

Murray was jailed under the "three strikes" law where repeat burglars face a minimum of three years prison. But the judge agreed to reduce the sentence.

He had kicked a board out of the kitchen window of the property in Derwent Street, Hartlepool, next door to his girlfriend's house.

Once inside, Murray removed a wall-mounted boiler and sold it for scrap for 40.

Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting, said: "Blood spatters were recovered from the wall of the property.

"Forensic tests were carried out and were found to match the defendant."

Murray initially denied ever being at the house when questioned by police, but when the forensic evidence was put to him he confessed, adding someone else was with him.

Miss Lamballe added: "Using tools he removed the boiler from the wall. In doing so he cut his left index finger."

The burglary was discovered by letting agents on November 25 last year and Murray, of Kittiwake Close, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to the offence.

The court heard Murray had three house burglaries on his record from 2002, 2005 and 2008.

Judge Michael Taylor said: "You have an unenviable record for offences of dishonesty and you have three previous qualifying offences for burglary of dwelling houses.

"You now know there is a minimum sentence fixed by law for this which is three years."

Robin Denny, mitigating, said he could not argue with the minimum sentence being passed and added: "The particular offence isn't as serious as normally because it was a deserted property."

Murray's sentence was reduced to 27 months for his guilty plea.