Burglar who raided Newcastle shop caught after leaving blood at the scene of the crime
Stuart Spence, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of burglary at the Londis store at Kenton Park Shopping Centre
A bungling burglar who raided a Kenton store was caught after his blood was found at the scene.
Stuart Spence broke into the Londis store at Kenton Park Shopping Centre in the early hours of April 6 and stole cash and cigarettes to the value of £1,200
Newcastle Crown Court heard how the 33-year-old forced his way in by breaking bars and a window at the rear of the premises.
Paul Cross, prosecuting, said a cash machine was attacked, money and cigarettes were taken while the shop’s CCTV hard drive was also stolen.
A resident of an upstairs flat saw a man leaving the scene on a bike at around 3.46am and phoned the police.
But he inadvertently left traces of his blood at the scene on the cash machine and a nearby fridge which were later found by investigating officers.
The swabs were sent off for forensic analysis and were later linked back to Spence, who was arrested by police.
He made no reply during an interview but later pleaded guilty to one count of burglary.
The court heard how the shop owner was left in fear of another attack on his premises which had cost him around £3,000 – including £1,720 of his personal savings to secure the store.
Spence, who has 32 past convictions for 71 offences, was on bail at the time of the offence for dangerous driving which he was later sentenced to a nine-month jail term suspended for two years in July.
David Comb, defending, said: “He appears to have had a near death experience in July in a car accident.
“He has reconciled with a former girlfriend and he has indicated his life has achieved a greater stability than it has in the past 12 months.”
Judge Edward Bindloss spared Spence, of Muswell Hill, Newcastle, jail by giving him a prison sentence of nine months, suspended for 18 months.
However, he warned him that he was on his last chance.
He said: “You are at risk of a lot of custodial time. The key thing is to stay out of trouble.
“If you breach this order you face 18 months on top of whatever else.”