Bungling burglar Stephen Cole snared by DNA
by Paul Hooper
Gormless burglar Stephen Cole thought
he had committed the perfect break-in after snatching £100 from an
Ashford building site.
The 24-year-old raider had scaled an
eight-foot fence on the Ellingham Industrial Estate, carrying a
jerry can and hose pipe planning to siphon fuel.
After spotting CCTV cameras, the
cunning raider decided to steal a computer hard drive that he
believed recorded footage of the break-in.
But in his haste, Cole left behind the
plastic pipe - containing his DNA.
And when police investigated the raid,
they discovered the CCTV was so poor, he could not have been
Thomas Restell, defending told
Canterbury Crown Court on Friday: "I hope my client will forgive me
saying that he is not the brightest, nor the deepest thinker nor
the quickest to respond to common sense actions... and his
short-term memory is exceedingly bad."
The court heard how Cole, from
Brattle, Woodchurch, had broken into the Keogh Construction
company's yard in June last year.
Donna East, prosecuting, said he had
been carrying the can and the hose intending to siphon diesel.
Instead, he broke into another part of
the building and stole £100 in cash and the hard drive.
"He is not the brightest, nor the deepest thinker nor the quickest to respond to common sense actions…” – Thomas Restell, defending
"However, he left behind a length of
hose which was analysed and discovered that the defendant's DNA had
been left on it," she said.
"Ironically, the CCTV was of such poor
quality that all it showed was the burglar was a male. But the hard
drive did contain a lot of the company's information which caused
it a lot of inconvenience."
The court heard that when police went
to Cole's home they also found him growing cannabis.
Cole, who admitted burglary and
producing a class B drug, was given an 18-month community order and
told to remain in his home between 9pm and 6am for the next three
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