Incompetent Flint burglar left mobile phone behind


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

AN “utterly incompetent” burglar left a vital clue at the scene of the crime – his own mobile telephone.

Michael John Shepherd, 20, broke into the home of a vulnerable man and stole his medication, Mold Crown Court heard.

But he dropped his mobile phone which the victim found on the sink in his home at Prince of Wales Avenue, Flint, prosecutor David Mainstone said.

The victim was a vulnerable man with Asperger’s Syndrome and a diagnosed schizophrenic. The court heard he had been targeted in the past.

Judge Niclas Parry said: “This was as sneaky and despicable as it was utterly incompetent.

“This vulnerable man was targeted. You went there in the early hours. Maybe not much was taken but his medication was important to him.

“This was the second burglary you have committed but mercifully the place was unoccupied.”

He sentenced Shepherd, also of Prince of Wales Avenue, Flint, to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to complete 200 hours of unpaid work, with 12 months supervision.

Mr Parry also imposed a curfew between June 2 and September 2.

On Friday, February 21, the victim went out at about 10pm went and returned about 1.30am the next morning.

“The kitchen window was open and the blind on the floor, “ said Mr Mainstone.

“Some of his tablets had been taken from a box and an old Sony Walkman. But someone had left their mobile on the sink. It had a crack on the screen.

“The medication was about a month’s supply so a significant quantity had been taken.”

Shepherd’s fingerprints were found on the tablet box.

The following day Shepherd walked into a police station and said he had entered Mr Roberts’ house and dropped his mobile – but said he had not stolen anything.

He admitted that, as the TV had been moved, he must have had “some intention in mind”, said Mr Mainstone.

In an impact statement, the victim said it had been an invasion of his privacy and he now felt very vulnerable and had asked to be rehoused since he had been targeted in the past.

He had mental health difficulties and was receiving help from a rehabilitation team in Wrexham.

Defending barrister Simon Rogers said he would not mitigate when the judge indicated the sentence he had in mind.

See full story in the Leader

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