A POLICE dog led officers to a burglar who was hiding in a churchyard.
A family had been disturbed by a man in the kitchen of their home on Deeside.
The intruder fled, the police were alerted and a police dog was drafted in.
Mold Crown Court heard how the dog picked up the scent from the premises in Hawarden Way, Mancot, and led his handler to the Mancot Presbyterian Church.
Officers entered the grounds and defendant Ryan Kearns was one of two men were found hiding there.
Kearns, 19, of Bolton Road, New Ferry, admitted burglary and two thefts in the Mancot area on January 13 this year and faced the prospect of a minimum three-year sentence because of his previous convictions.
He had appeared in court 13 times previously and had convictions for 31 offences.
But Judge Niclas Parry said he considered it unjust to impose the full three years at his age and sentenced him to two years youth custody.
David Mainstone, prosecuting, said a couple were at home watching a film at about 9.30pm with their five-year-old daughter asleep in bed when they heard a noise in the kitchen.
The owner went to investigate and when he entered saw a figure standing at the open back door.
He immediately challenged him but Kearns turned and fled – chased by the owner.
The police were called and Kearns was arrested a short time later after being tracked by the police dog.
It turned out that he had also broken into two cars and stolen a sat nav and a bag containing £30 cash.
Paul Abraham, defending, said his client had a very poor record, but he had pleaded guilty at a very early stage.