Jailed: DNA on biscuit revealed man stole from fire-damaged Telford home

By Deborah Hardiman | Telford | Crime | Published:

A burglar has been jailed for more than two years for stealing from a fire-damaged house in Telford.

David Jinks

David Jinks, 32, was charged after his DNA was found on a biscuit at the wrecked house, in Gittens Drive, Aqueduct.

Miss Elizabeth Power, prosecuting, said: “The owners had been forced to move out following a serious blaze.

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"In mid-July the house was the subject of a severe fire while the householders were away on holiday.

"The upstairs of the property was badly damaged.

“On August 8 the owner met with the building surveyors then left the property.

“Later he took a phone call from his neighbour stating that the door was open. He returned at about 1pm and he could see that items had been removed from the premises including a large TV.


A video still of the house fire in Gittens Drive, Aqueduct

“Items had been removed from the kitchen to the conservatory and his father’s bedroom had been searched and his TV missing. There were biscuit crumbs on the floor and an urn with his wife’s ashes had been moved.

“Swabs were taken from the ‘Rich Tea’ biscuits.”

She told Shrewsbury Crown Court that Jinks was arrested after a neighbour spotted a man in the garden the next day and phoned 999. He matched the description.


Miss Power said: “At first the defendant denied being there, but tests from a partial DNA sample provided from a biscuit at the address along with footprints put him at he scene. He admitted to the police that he had lied in the first interview. He said he thought no-one lived in the house and he denied taking the TVs.”

'A sad reflection on society'

She added: “The burglary in question took place between August 8 to 13 this year.”

Jinks, of no fixed abode, admitted burglary at an earlier hearing.

The court heard he had history of offending including a four-month suspended term for burglary in 2008.

Miss Debra White, mitigating on his behalf, said: “There is an issue with drugs in his life. He has a lengthy record. At the time of the offence, he was released from prison and it took a long time to get his Universal Credit sorted out. He took to stealing and shoplifting to survive.

“It’s a sad reflection on society.”

The case is linked to Jinks’s previous jail term where he was sentenced to 16 weeks by magistrates for offences of shoplifting, burglary and going equipped to commit burglary. Judge Peter Barrie jailed him for two years and three months for the latest burglary.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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