Burglar trapped by shop blunder

Paul Cullen
Paul Cullen
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A BURGLAR was jailed after his stolen haul started turning up in second-hand shops.

The victim spotted one of his stolen DVD players on display at Cash Converters on Church Street, Blackpool.

Officers recovered it from the shop, along with a stolen satnav which Paul Cullen had sold to the business, using his real name.

They were stolen in the raid at the flat on Wilton Parade, Blackpool, on July 9.

Cullen, 37, of West Street, Chester, was jailed for 16 months by a judge at Preston Crown Court.

The basement area of the flat had been burgled. The list of stolen property included two DVD players, a satnav system, Sky Plus box, Nintendo DS and items of jewellery that included a wedding band.

None of the other stolen items were recovered after the raid.

The victim said, in a statement, he had struggled to sleep since the offence.

He and his wife no longer felt safe in their home and intended to move.

Cullen had 68 previous offences on his record.

In 2010 he was given a community order for burgling a ‘non dwelling’ and the flat burglary put him in breach of that sentence.

He had written a letter of apology to the judge dealing with his latest case, saying he regretted what he did.

Sophie Cartwright, defending, said Cullen now appreciated the impact the offence had on the householder.

“There was no planning to the offence, no pre-meditation. It was done on impulse.

“The defendant had met up with associates and took diazepam with them.

“He has little memory thereafter, other than it had a disinhibiting effect on him.”

Passing sentence Judge Pamela Badley told Cullen: “Although you have done some work with regard to your drug dependency problem, there has been very much a self interest in what you have done.

“The burglary is at a level of offending which doesn’t allow me to consider a non-custodial sentence.”