Hartlepool burglar said break-ins were 'not the kind of behaviour that he engaged in' until police showed him his fingerprints from crime scene

A burglar who said break-ins were 'not the kind of behaviour that he engaged in' admitted stealing from a student home after police showed him his fingerprints found at the scene.

Monday, 25th March 2019, 3:00 pm
Updated Monday, 25th March 2019, 3:08 pm
Liam Rowbotham, of Pine Grove, Hartlepool, who appeared over a videolink from Durham Prison, was jailed for nine months at Teesside Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to burglary and theft.

Hartlepool man Liam Rowbotham had to be shown his prints which were found at the crime scene, which was just a few streets away from his home, before he would accept he was guilty.

Rowbotham, 24, told cops that he was strongly against stealing other people’s property.

But two months after the break-in at the Northern School of Art's student accommodation, police matched his prints from his record and he agreed to accept it was him.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Rowbotham owned up to breaking into the college’s accommodation block in Lime Crescent, Hartlepool, at 5.45am on March 15 last year and stealing a 58-inch TV and preview box worth £800 from the common living area.

Prosecutor Sam Faulks told Teesside Crown Court that he damaged an ironing board which he climbed upon to reach the TV on the wall.

He was arrested on May 22 after checks were completed on the burglar’s fingerprints and he denied being involved, until he was shown the evidence.

Rowbotham told police that it was “not the kind of behaviour that he engaged in”, said Stephen Constantine, defending.

He added: "He asked to see the fingerprint evidence before he could accept the allegation.”

Mr Constantine said that Rowbotham had only one previous conviction for dishonesty, and he insisted that he did not believe in stealing other people’s property.

He was later seen by a psychiatrist who said that he was suffering from a number of illnesses.

Judge Howard Crowson told him: ”It does seem that you were not entirely well at the time, and I bear that in mind.

”It was not however well-planned.”

Rowbotham, of Pine Grove, Hartlepool, who appeared over a videolink from Durham Prison, was jailed for nine months after he pleaded guilty to burglary and theft. He had already served the equivalent of 99 days on a tagged-curfew.

The judge said that he would not order him to pay any compensation because he had been in jail on remand.