Trainer print on sill led to house burglar

Mark Critchley, 39, of Burlington Road, Blackpool.
Mark Critchley, 39, of Burlington Road, Blackpool.
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A MAN who returned to burgling homes – after managing to keep on the straight and narrow for a decade – has been jailed.

Mark Critchley struck at a Blackpool couple’s home as they slept. He helped himself to laptops, cameras and other items worth more than £2,000 in all.

He was identified through his cashing in of stolen goods at a pawnbrokers.

The 39-year-old of Burlington Road, South Shore, was given one-year’s jail by a judge at Preston Crown Court, having admitted a charge of burglary.

The offence dated back to June and was carried out at a couple’s home on Kenilworth Gardens.

David Clarke, prosecuting, said the burglary came to light the following morning.

Two laptops, an Acer notebook, two cameras, games as well as cash were all missing. The haul was valued at £2,690.

Entry had been gained via the conservatory.

A foot print from a Reebok trainer was found on a window sill.

Inquiries were made at local shops and it was discovered Critchley had sold 21 Playstation 3 games to Money Traders on Dickson Road.

This was recorded on the shop’s CCTV.

Reebok trainers were seized at his home and they had the same pattern type as the footprint at the scene of the crime.

It also turned out that 15 Nintendo Wii games were at the Money Traders shop on Lytham Road.

Critchley had previous convictions for burglary, but his last court appearance had been in 2002, when he got three years jail.

Rosalind Emsley-Smith, defending, said the latest offence was somewhat out of character for him.

“He asserts that he had fully rehabilitated himself, compared to the man he was in 2002.

“He was released, had a stable relationship and a stable family. He was working and as far as he was concerned, had entirely put his former lifestyle behind him.

“His relationship broke down three years ago. He found himself homeless and without work. He has had a thoroughly torrid three years. He had what doctors describe as a breakdown and self-medicated, going back to what he knew – taking drugs and alcohol. That was the motivating factor in this offence.”

Critchley was described as keen to rid himself again of the drugs problem and would “absolutely welcome” any help from the probation service.

Judge Robert Altham told him that only a custodial sentence could be justified.

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