Heartless burglar Sam Dunka steals picture of dead child above ashes in Dover house
by Paul Hooper
A heartless raider broke into a house in Dover - and stole
a pendant with a picture of a dead child from on top a box
containing the ashes.
Selfish Sam Dunka crept into the home of the family where
three other children - aged 11, three and one - were
sleeping with their parents.
But the mean thief didn't escape justice... because he left his
fingerprint on the box containing the ashes.
Jim Harvey, prosecuting, told Canterbury Crown Court how
the 21-year-old petty thief pocketed £20 along with a purse, store
cards and a watch.
"What was most upsetting for the family was when they discovered
that a pendant and chain were missing from the front room.
"The pendant contained a picture of the couple's deceased child
and had been placed on a box containing the ashes of the child in
the front room," he said.
The prosecutor added: "The householder stated to police that it
would have been evident to anyone that took it that it was linked
to the ashes."
Dunka, of Marine Terrace, Folkestone, was caught because he left
his fingerprints on the ashes box during the nighttime raid last
He had also been found later the same month twice in private
areas of the Grand Hotel, in Folkestone.
"He was caught on CCTV cameras and it was quite clear what he
was doing... seeking to find items to steal," Mr Harvey added.
"The householder stated to police that it would have been evident to anyone that took it that it was linked to the ashes...” – Jim Harvey, prosecuting
Dunka was discovered in a kitchen corridor by a chef – and tried
to talk his way out of it by claiming he was looking for work.
Later he was seen in the living quarters by the owner – but fled
before he could be stopped, the court heard.
Mr Harvey said Dunka used the same scam when he went into a shop
in Folkestone claiming he was looking for work, but then stole a
mobile phone of a member of staff.
Dunka, who admitted two burglaries and a theft, asked for the
theft from a charity box to be taken into consideration. He claimed
he carried out the raids to get money to feed his drugs habit.
Judge Adele Williams, in jailing him for a total of 20 months,
told him: "What is particularly aggravating about the burglary in
Dover was not only were three young children present, but one of
the items you stole was of considerable sentimental and emotional
value because it contained a picture of the couple's deceased
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