Burglar linked to garage break-in by DNA from discarded cigarette appears in court in Sheffield

A burglar was linked to a break-in at a garage after police made a successful DNA match between the offender and a discarded cigarette.

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 6:44 am

Sheffield Crown Court heard on August 25 how Liam Spillane, aged 22, from Poynton Avenue, Ulley, burgled a detached garage at Whiston Grange, Rotherham, with two other men.

James Baird, prosecuting the case, said: “Officers had been called to the Whiston area at about 9.45pm, on October 7, 2019.

“When they got there they were alerted to a burglary at Whiston Grange.

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Sheffield Crown Court, pictured, has heard how police linked a Sheffield burglar to a break-in at a Rotherham garage from DNA on a discarded cigarette.

“CCTV from the property showed three men breaking into the detached garage and the CCTV also showed one of the offenders discarding a cigarette on the driveway and DNA on that was linked to this defendant.”

Spillane, who has previous convictions including arson but none for burglary offences, pleaded guilty to the burglary.

Kathryn Lill, defending him, said Spillane is undergoing treatment and medical assessments of his mental health indicated that a detention order at a hospital might be an appropriate sentence for the defendant.

A doctor, who spoke to the court via a video-link, stated Spillane has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and said that view of his condition was also shared by another doctor.

The doctor said to Judge Jeremy Richardson QC that such a mental health illness warrants an admission into hospital for treatment.

Following audio difficulties with the video-link during the court hearing, Judge Richardson opted to adjourn the case for sentencing.

He set a provisional date of September 15 to deal with the case again.