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Bungling burglar who targeted house undergoing renovation left DNA behind on a sock – South Wales Argus

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A BUNGLING burglar who broke into an empty renovated house and then tried to raid it again a month later left his DNA behind on both occasions.

Heroin addict John McCulloch was spared an immediate prison sentence by a judge who gave him a chance to beat his drug habit.

Melissa Jones, prosecuting, told Cardiff Crown Court how the 37-year-old defendant carried out the break-in last June in Trinant.

She said he stole work tools worth £100 from the “uninhabitable” house but left behind his DNA on a purple and black sock and a hammer.

In July 2018, he went back to the same property and was challenged by someone who knew him as he tried to burgle the house again by smashing his way in.

Miss Jones said this time, McCulloch, of Trinant Terrace, Trinant, left behind his DNA on a red brick found at the scene and a footprint.

The combined value of the damage caused and property stolen in both incidents was £519.

He admitted burglary and attempted burglary.

The judge, Recorder Patrick Harrington QC, heard how the defendant had 12 previous convictions for 30 offences but had only spent a “short time in custody”.

Jeffrey Jones, mitigating, said father-of-two McCulloch was suffering with substance misuse.

His barrister told the court: “Heroin was the cause of his behaviour. He has approached the Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service for help.”

Mr Jones said he had shown “remorse” for his actions.

Recorder Harrington told McCulloch: “You have got a terrible record. You caused £519 worth of damage and took tools which you would have sold for next to nothing.”

The judge added: “You have got to rid yourself of this foul addiction (to heroin).”

He was sentenced to a 24-month community order, a nine-month drug rehabilitation requirement and to attend 15 sessions of a rehabilitation activity requirement.

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