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DNA on cigarette trapped thief

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
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A prolific crook who stole from a car was caught on CCTV throwing a cigarette end away, with police finding found his DNA on it, a court heard.

Ex-convict Craig Rainford (31) also helped himself to phones, a watch with diamonds on it, £25 cash and other items from a Facebook friend after having a drink at her house. The woman's property was returned after the mean incident, in which Rainford breached her trust.

Burnley magistrates were told how the defendant, a car valeter, had 90 offences on his record, 26 of them for theft. He struck in drink and a probation officer told the court: "Alcohol, alcohol, alcohol, that's the issue." Rainford was said to have been unable to sleep when he realised he had stolen from his friend.

The defendant of Laithe Street, Burnley, admitted theft of a service book from a vehicle in the town last December 17th and theft in a house, taking goods belonging to Wendy Bennett in Preston, last September 10th.

Rainford was given a six month community order, with a six month alcohol treatment programme. He must pay £100 compensation to Ms Bennett, £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Mrs Tracy Yates (prosecuting) told the court after the defendant stole from Wendy Bennett, he told police he was disappointed in himself and didn't know why he had taken the stuff. She continued :" He said when he got home, he left it outside. He was going to return it to her."

Probation officer Mr Peter Slater said the defendant had used alcohol as a crutch. He continued: "He says at weekend, when he's not working, he will get home and sit down and, in his own words, he will drink until he's leathered. He can drink a bottle of Jack Daniels in a night."

The officer, who said Rainford was aware his record was appalling, added: "If he could get himself off alcohol, I don't think he will offend again."