Sheffield burglar caught by phone snap

Scott Richardson, jailed for 12 months for burglary.
Scott Richardson, jailed for 12 months for burglary.
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A determined householder caught a burglar who crept into his home - by following him in his car, hiding behind a hedge and snapping a photograph of him on his mobile phone.

Scott Francis Richardson, aged 25, sneaked into Gary Booker’s house in Norton Park View, Norton, Sheffield, while Mr Booker was in the garden watering his plants.

Mr Booker challenged Richardson and the crook fled.

But, not content to let him escape, Mr Booker jumped into his car and set off to look for the burglar, eventually spotting him on Meadowhead.

“He waited behind a hedge and took a photograph of the defendant on his mobile phone,” Stephanie Hollis, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court.

“That was provided to the police who were able to identify him.”

Miss Hollis said Mr Booker had been left ‘shaken’ by the incident, and said he felt he should not have to lock his doors every time he went outside for a few minutes.

Richardson, of Batemoor Road, Batemoor, told police he was a homeless alcoholic who had gone into the house searching for food and alcohol.

He was on bail for another offence at the time, and had committed two thefts as well as the burglary.

He’d stolen lager and a takeaway curry from a BP petrol station on Birley Moor Road in Sheffield, and lager from Tesco Express on Chesterfield Road.

He also admitted possessing £10 of amphetamine.

Gurdial Singh, defending, said: “This was petty, nuisance offending by someone in drink who is homeless.”

Jailing Richardsonfor 14 months, Judge Michael Murphy QC said there was no prospect of him complying with a community penalty.

“When you do something like this you don’t know what you’re going to be faced with - it could be a 20-year-old man who has a fight with you, or a 95-year-man old who drops dead at the sight of you.

“That’s why dwelling house burglary is so serious. This was more nuisance than sophisticated criminality.”