Bungling burglar trapped by sandwich
A BLUNDERING burglar who was captured after dropping a half-eaten sandwich at the scene of his crime is today behind bars.Leon Plant, 28, of Coltsfoot Road, Ipswich, broke in to a house in Hawthorne Drive, Ipswich, in April last year, while its owners were asleep but fled when he realised he had been spotted.
A BLUNDERING burglar who was captured after dropping a half-eaten sandwich at the scene of his crime is today behind bars.
Leon Plant, 28, of Coltsfoot Road, Ipswich, broke in to a house in Hawthorne Drive, Ipswich, in April last year, while its owners were asleep but fled when he realised he had been spotted.
Police caught up with him several months later after DNA tests on the sandwich linked it to him.
Stephen Spence, prosecuting, said the owner of his house, Mr Salisbury, been woken at around 5.15am on April 12 by a grunting noise.
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Thinking it was his sister-in-law who has Down's Syndrome and was in the neighbouring room, he called out to his 26-year-old daughter to check on her.
Mr Spence said: “As she turned round on the landing she saw a dark figure wearing a baseball cap run out of her bedroom.”
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Alerted by his daughter's screams, Mr Salisbury jumped out of bed and attempted to chase after Plant but lost him in the street.
The police arrived and could find no sign of Plant, but an hour later Mr Salisbury became suspicious of someone in his neighbours' front garden.
Mr Spence said: “This man was a stranger so Mr Salisbury and another neighbour challenged him.
“The man, who was in fact Plant, got on a bike and rode off, dropping a half eaten sandwich.”
Plant, who has more than 20 previous convictions, was arrested in September following the DNA match, but committed two further offences while on bail.
In November, he stole more than £1,000 of electrical equipment from the back of a van in Sheldrake Avenue, Ipswich, and in January he was caught trying to break in to a car in Honeysuckle Gardens, Ipswich.
Again, DNA evidence helped to link him to one of the crimes as the van's owner discovered a half-smoked roll-up in the front of the vehicle.
Appearing at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday he pleaded guilty to one count of burglary, one of theft and one of attempted theft.
Duncan O'Donnell, mitigating, said: “This was not the most sophisticated of burglaries. It's quite clear it was an opportunistic effort.
“He was under the influence of alcohol and drugs and literally blundered in to someone's house without any real design on what he was going to take.”
Sentencing Plant, Recorder Mark Bishop described it as a “frightening and distressing domestic burglary”.
Plant was sentenced to 24 months in prison. He will spend half of this time in custody and the rest will be a suspended sentence.