Burglar caught from blood at break-in

A PROLIFIC burglar caught after his DNA was found on blood stained shards of glass at a village primary school he broke into looks set to be jailed.

Will Clarke

A PROLIFIC burglar caught after his DNA was found on blood stained shards of glass at a village primary school he broke into looks set to be jailed.

Stephen Ellis, 37, of Heatherset Way, Red Lodge, near Mildenhall, admitted 22 break-ins at shops, offices and schools across Suffolk.

He pleaded guilty to breaking into Lakenheath Primary School last December, the Corn Craft shop in Monks Eleigh, near Sudbury, in September and the Pipps shop in Needham Market in December.

Ellis asked for a further 19 offences between September last year and January this year to be taken into consideration when he appeared at Sudbury Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Rosalind Clark, prosecuting, said Ellis had been caught after his DNA was found in a blood sample taken from broken glass at Lakenheath Primary School following the break-in. His footprint was also found at the school, she said.

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The prosecutor told the court Ellis was responsible for causing thousands of pounds worth of damage during burglaries in Gazeley, Rougham, Onehouse, Long Melford, Lavenham, Needham Market, Lakenheath, Barton Mills and Clare. He got away with hundreds of pounds, she added.

At Lakenheath Primary School he stole only £2 but caused £500 of damage to doors and windows as he searched for cash, the court was told.

David Stewart, for Ellis, said his client had been driven to steal again and again after running up gambling debts caused by the stress of caring for his disabled wife, who is paralysed from the neck down.

Mr Stewart also said Ellis' prompt guilty plea and co-operation with police should be taken into consideration and asked magistrates to consider a community sentence.

But David Daniels, chairman of the bench, said he took a dim view of Ellis' behaviour.

“You have a very substantial record ignoring previous sentences and we will be considering a custodial sentence,” he said.

Mr Daniels ordered a report to look at the consequences of sending Ellis to jail as he was his wife's full-time carer.

Ellis will be sentenced on April 3 at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court.

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