Bungling Nelson thief caught after dropping his mobile phone - which showed a photo of him

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A PHOTO on a mobile phone helped frame a man who was confronted after burgling a Nelson family’s home.

Caspian Raphael dropped his phone while running from the scene. He had a photo of himself on the mobile - and a family member recognised him as the young man who had been making off from the address in Howgill Close, Nelson.

The 20-year-old, of Richmond Street, Keighley, was given 12 months youth custody, suspended for a year, with 12 months supervision and 100 hours unpaid work.

Raphael appeared for sentencing at Preston Crown Court, having pleaded guilty to the burglary which took place in June last year.

In a separate hearing, Hal Rattigan (21), of Halifax Road, Briercliffe, was sentenced to 12 months prison. He had pleaded guilty to the burglary and also handling 3,000 Euros which had originated from a burglary at a different address.

Mr Adam Watkins (prosecuting) said a man with the surname Mahmood went home to the address in Howgill Close one night, to see Raphael emerging from a passageway at the side of the house. The man was carrying a rucksack and a silver box.

When confronted, Raphael ran from the scene. In the rucksack were stolen electrical items, jewellery and paper work, as well as a mobile phone that was found after they were dropped.

The mobile contained a photo of Raphael and the man recognised him as the male he had just confronted. The police were contacted and inquiries showed that within 10 or 15 minutes before the confrontation, there had been recent calls to and from other mobile numbers stored in the memory.

One was Rattigan.

The court was also told Rattigan had been heard to plan the burglary with others. Rattigan drew a map of the house grounds and doorways.

The plan was for Rattigan and another man to keep a lookout while Raphael forced a door.

The handling offence related to a burglary in May last year at a home in Kings Causeway, Brierfield. The crime had had a significant impact upon the victim in that case, who was a retired woman.

Stolen Euros went on to be found in a bag, inside a dog kennel in the grounds of Rattigan’s address.

Mr Martin Hackett, defending Rattigan, said he was scared of the prospect of a custodial sentence, which would be his first.

He said: “He behaved in a very mean way in committing these offences. He asserts he wasn’t the mastermind, or anything as grand as that, behind the burglary. He says they were all equally involved.”

Judge Jonathan Gibson said the burglary had been a planned offence.

Rattigan had driven Raphael to the scene of the burglary and then waited in a car, along with another male.

In the case of Raphael, before defence barrister Wayne Goldstein gave his mitigation, the judge said he would pass a suspended sentence order.

He said that defendant had no previous convictions and it appeared there was some element of him having been persuaded to do what he did. He had been 19 years old at the time.