'Amateurish' burglar David Scott left fingerprints in same place during two break-ins at Bridlington house
A BURGLAR who targeted a house twice in the space of three years was caught after he left his fingerprints on the same money box.
Serial burglar David Scott, 28, broke into a house and stole thousands of pounds of property, including an antique silver matchstick holder, a silver watch and cash.
He left his fingerprint in a money box hidden in a drawer.
Hull Crown Court heard the offence was committed on July 25 in Pinfold Lane, Bridlington.
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Three years earlier, in September 2009, Scott burgled the same property and again left his fingerprint in the drawer, but was not caught at the time.
It was not made clear in court why he was not caught.
Prosecutor Jharna Jobes said: "The occupants returned home at 3pm in 2009 and discovered a number of items were gone.
"He had taken £100 from a kitchen drawer and the defendant's fingerprint was found on the tin. He took a quantity of jewellery. He was not arrested at the time.
"He was arrested this year when he went back to the same property. He smashed a door and took £100 from the same tin and took items of sentimental value, including a silver pocket watch."
Scott was still on licence at the time of the recent burglary, having just been released from prison for a similar offence.
In a victim impact statement the occupant told the court: "Every time we are burgled my wife feels sick for a number of weeks afterwards with the thought that someone has broken into the house and searched through our property.
"It has got to the point that if we are sitting in the house and see someone walking past we become suspicious and paranoid. It has been painful losing jewellery that was of a sentimental value."
Scott had been given the chance, since the earlier burglary, to admit all his offending under Humberside Police's Operation Cleanslate but he declined to confess to this crime.
Cleanslate allows criminals to admit other offences and have them taken into account to receive a reduced sentence without the fear of being charged with new offences at a later date.
As a result, when Scott was arrested for this the police charged him with two burglaries and Judge David Tremberg told him he was giving him a longer sentence as a result.
Judge Tremberg said: "Defendants are given the opportunity to clear up any other matters and when given the opportunity they know they are not at risk at some stage in the future of the police coming knocking on their door or they are identified of perpetrating the crime. He didn't take that opportunity and now he has to face the music."
Scott, of Neptune Drive, Bridlington, has been jailed for three-and-a-half years after he pleaded guilty to both burglaries.
It was Scott's seventh burglary in total.
His barrister John Thackray said: "He has been caught by his fingerprints. It was a very amateurish conduct and there was a lack of sophistication."
Judge Tremberg told Scott: "You burgled the property in 2009 and that offence went undetected for some years. You forced entry and undeterred by an alarm you stole items of value.
"You will have had the opportunity on plenty of occasions to admit responsibility for this offence and asked to clear it up. You didn't and you buried your head in the sand and hoped you wouldn't be brought to book for it and inevitably you must face a separate sentence for it.
"You were on licence at the time and against that background you decided to go back and re-victimise the same victims.
"You forced entry and caused £500 of damage. You stole property including items of sentimental value.
"The impact on your victims has been significant and substantial and you were entirely indifferent to their suffering.
"It seems to me a significant sentence is necessary to deter you from further offending."