Burglar snared by own phone

Sean Marshall
Sean Marshall

A HAPLESS burglar has been jailed for five years after he was snared when he dropped his phone while fleeing an angry homeowner.

Police quickly caught serial thief Sean Marshall as they recognised him in photos saved on the mobile.

He was jailed for five years at Teesside Crown Court after Judge Howard Crowson heard it was his tenth similar offence.

Judge Crowson said the 32-year-old “seems to resort to burglary” every time he is not locked up as Marshall had only recently finished a five-year prison stretch.

The court heard that Marshall had broken into a family home in King Oswy Drive, Hartlepool, but fled when his noisy raid disturbed the sleeping occupants.

He was chased by one of the householders and although he managed to escape – he dropped his mobile phone containing the tell-tale clues on a nearby driveway.

The telephone contained his name Shauni M and photographs, which helped officers easily identify the owner.

Marshall admitted burglary when he appeared via a video-link from Holme House Prison.

Judge Howard Crowson told him : “You don’t seem to have learned from your last sentence of five years.

“You can properly be described as a professional burglar, in as much as when you are at liberty, you seem to resort to burglary.”

The court heard that Marshall was jailed for five years in 2009 and was released in May – five months before his latest offence.

At 4.40am on October 30, the occupants of the house in King Oswy Drive were woken by noises downstairs.

Marshall was chased along the street, but his pursuer finally gave up and returned home to find belongings missing.

Marshall admitted taking a handbag, a watch and two cameras, although a charm bracelet, wallet and computer games were also taken.

Sue Jacobs, prosecuting, told the court that Marshall’s mobile phone and a camera were later found nearby by a dog-walker.

Paul Cleasby, mitigating, said Marshall deserved credit for pleading guilty before a costly investigation had to be conducted.

He said his admissions meant money did not have to be spent on fingerprint and CCTV analysis and case preparation.