A CHRISTMAS burglar was captured after leaving his DNA on a mince pie he took a bite from at the crime scene, a court has heard.
Max Collier, 21, unscrewed a cat flap to help him sneak into a house at Alston while the sole female occupant was upstairs in the early hours of December 19 in 2016.
Collier snatched children’s presents from under a Christmas tree, and also grabbed booze and cash before fleeing as the occupant came downstairs to investigate noises.
But Carlisle Crown Court heard how Collier was eventually traced – because he took a single bite from a mince pie in the kitchen before he left. When stopped by police in Northumbria many months later, his DNA was entered on to a database and linked him with the Cumbria crime.
Collier – a man of previous good character – was brought to court and admitted burglary. He had a 12-month jail term suspended for two years by Judge Barbara Forrester.
Collier, of Capel Avenue, Haltwhistle, must also complete a rehabilitation activity requirement, 120 hours’ unpaid work and pay £200 compensation for what Judge Forrester called a “very mean” offence.