Bungling burglar chased by girl in pyjamas - after he left his photo at crime scene (From Daily Echo)
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Bungling burglar Richard Burlingham chased by girl in pyjamas - after he left his photo at crime scene
HE is the bungling burglar who was chased out of a house by a teenage girl in her pyjamas – and was caught after dropping his mobile phone with his picture on it and a screwdriver containing his DNA at the scene of the crime.
Career criminal Richard Burlingham might only be 21, but today he is behind bars after carrying out a staggering 87 crimes.
His latest offences were so ill thought-out that he left behind conclusive proof it was him, leading police straight to his door.
Southampton Crown Court heard how Burlingham was captured following a creeper-style burglary at the home of a woman and her 17-year-old daughter in Edwin Jones Green in Shirley, Southampton, in March this year.
At around 2am the girl was woken by the sound of people moving around inside her bedroom and as she opened her eyes she came face to face with a man standing by her dressing table.
Prosecutor Eleanor Fargin told the court how Burlingham realised she was awake and shouted at her before he and his accomplice turned around and fled.
But he was not counting on the brave teenager leaping from her bed and giving chase through her house and then out into the street as she ran barefoot after them.
The court heard how the two burglars managed to get away after scrambling over a fence, leaving the girl standing in the road with her feet bleeding from grazes.
But nearby on the ground was a Blackberry mobile phone belonging to Burlingham and containing pictures of him, plus a screwdriver which had his DNA on it.
The terrifying incident, to which he pleaded guilty, was described to the court as “a very scary ordeal” for the girl and her mum, who were left feeling worried in their home and concerned about security.
Ms Fargin told how just weeks earlier Burlingham, of no fixed address, was one of a trio of burglars who used a sledgehammer to smash their way into a Co-op store to get their hands on thousands of cigarettes.
They struck just after 3.30am on February 21 this year at the Shirley Road store, diving through the shattered glass and helping themselves to cigarettes valued at £1,600 before all three fled the scene on a motorbike – leaving the sledgehammer containing his DNA behind. He denied the charge but was found guilty by a jury following a trial earlier this year.
Burlingham’s offending began seven years ago with a catalogue of crimes under his belt ranging from burglaries to criminal damage and failing to comply with court orders. He has 33 previous convictions for 87 offences, the court heard.
Mitigating, Frank Abbott said his client’s crimes were “not sophisticated” and “haphazard” but he had a troubled upbringing having been kicked out of his family home at the age of 13.
Jailing him for four years, Judge Peter Ralls QC said the burglary would have had “a fairly terrifying effect” on the young girl and criticised Burlingham for his “quite appalling” record.
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