Rotherham burglar 'deliberately left clues in bid to be caught'

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A homeless drug addict who broke into four shops on the same Rotherham street, including a charity shop for terminally-ill people, deliberately left clues in a bid to be caught.

MIchael Parker forced his way into a pawnbrokers on Effingham Street, by taking a rear door off its hinges, and fled with £8 in a collection tin, on the night of September 26.

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He was arrested a week later, said prosecutor Zaiban Alam, but it wasn’t clear if he had been bailed or released under investigation, as he went on to break into three other premises.

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Sheffield Crown CourtSheffield Crown Court
Sheffield Crown Court

Parker broke into the Rotherham Hospice, on the night of October 16, and stole £850 of goods, including raffle prizes.

Everything but a CCTV hard drive was later recovered, Ms Alam said.

The next night he broke into a beauty salon, and took £700 of hairdressing equipment, then searched a disused tailor's shop in the same arcade.

At each scene, he left tools for breaking and entering, and DNA, which police used to trace him.

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Matthew Burdon, mitigating, said the crimes were committed from the "depths of despair" and that he deliberately left evidence behind.

"He knows he will receive some respite from his drug addiction in prison," he said. "He simply asks that you keep the custodial sentence as short as possible."

Parker, aged 38, of no fixed abode, was jailed for two years.

Judge Rachael Harrison told him: "You have no understanding of the harm you cause when you burgle.”