A BURGLAR caught five years after he ransacked a woman’s Doncaster home has escaped going to prison because it was the first time he had broken into someone’s house.
Darren Anderson committed the crime at a property in Bentley in 2006 but it was not until this year that his fingerprint was matched to one found on a hatbox.
Anderson, aged 26, was being questioned by police about another matter when his prints were taken and they proved he had burgled the house in January 2006.
The occupier, a woman with two children, returned home to find the patio door had been forced and all rooms ransacked, prosecutor Brian Outhwaite told Doncaster Crown Court.
Jewellery, a TV, DVD player and wine were all stolen and never recovered.
When he questioned about the burglary this year he tried to claim he might have been at the house for a party but the occupiers said they had never met him.
Anderson, of Wheatley Park Road, Bentley, pleaded guilty to the charge because of the forensic evidence. He was sentenced to a community order with 150 hours of unpaid work.
Michael Upson, defending, said it was an old offence and the only burglary charge Anderson had ever faced. He is due to start work as a roofer and “it was not the sort of offence that required a custodial sentence,” said Mr Upson.
The judge Recorder Henry Prosser said he could stand back from prison because Anderson was a first-time burglar.