A burglar who raided a house within hours of the occupier being rushed into hospital has been jailed for 10 months, Lincoln Crown Court heard.
David Catnach, 21, of Grimsby Road, Caistor, smashed a rear door to get into a property in Nettleton and took items including cigarettes, a bank card and a set of car keys which he used to drive away in the occupier’s vehicle.
Prosecuting, Ian Way, said the victim fell ill in the early hours of January 10 this year and as a result was taken to hospital in Grimsby at 1am by ambulance.
Mr Way said: “He was discharged shortly afterwards and returned home at 4.30 am. He entered via the locked front door. Inside he saw the property being ransacked. His car had been taken.”
The stolen vehicle was caught by a police ANPR camera being driven out of Caistor at 3.25 am. A few days later it was discovered abandoned in a nearby village.
A piece of paper inside the vehicle had Catnach’s fingerprints on it and footprints found inside the burgled property matched his shoes.
Catnach admitted one count of burglary and was sentenced on August 28.
Judge Rosemary Coe QC told him: “The premises were unoccupied although that seems to have been by sheer chance.”
Defending, Mark Watson, said Catnach had problems with drugs and alcohol in the past but in the last six months had completely changed his behaviour.
Mr Watson said any suggestion Catnach targeted the property having realised the occupier had been taken away in an ambulance was not borne out by the facts of the case.