A MAN who had been a drug addict for 17 years burgled a house in Wrexham but was quickly caught because he left his handprint on a window – and also left his syringe behind.
Gareth Christopher Bird, 33, committed the burglary because he wanted money for more heroin, Mold Crown Court was told yesterday.
Bird, of Cefndre , Wrexham, admitted burglary at the home of a 67-year-old man in Ffordd Trefaldwyn, Wrexham, on January 18.
He was jailed for 15 months and was also banned from driving for two years after he also admitted aggravated vehicle taking.
The court heard how Bird and another man got into the house, stole a television and other items, then took the car keys and drove off in the victim’s VW Golf which was parked on the drive.
But it was damaged when the car is said to have skidded on ice and hit a wall.
Bird claimed the television was damaged in the crash and he had thrown it away.
The victim had popped into town at the time of the evening burglary but was alerted after a neighbour saw strangers get into his car and drive off at speed with wheels spinning, explained David Mainstone, prosecuting.
Debra White, defending, said Bird had been a heroin addict since he was 16.
It was a serious matter because it was burglary at the victim’s home, but it was not sophisticated.
Bird was quickly arrested after he left his handprint and his syringe behind.
Miss White said Bird had previous convictions but suggested a suspended sentence – now that a law change meant that longer prison sentences could now be suspended.
But Judge Rhys Rowlands said an immediate prison sentence was inevitable.
Community orders with drug rehabilitation requirements had been tried before.
It had been a burglary in the dark by two men when drunk.
Bird appeared before the court “with depressing regularity”. He had committed house burglary before and had 11 convictions for taking motor vehicles.
“This was a burglary at the home of a retired man by two people acting together,” he said.