A burglar who raided a house within hours of the occupier being rushed into hospital was today (Friday) jailed for 10 months at Lincoln Crown Court.
David Catnach smashed a rear door to get into the property in Nettleton and took a number of items including cigarettes, a bank card and a set of car keys which he used to drive away in the occupier’s vehicle.
Ian Way, prosecuting, said the victim fell ill in the early hours of 10 January this year and as a result was taken at 1am by ambulance to hospital in Grimsby.
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 3.25am. A few days later it was discovered abandoned in a nearby village.
A piece of paper which was inside the vehicle had Catnach’s fingerprints on it and footprints found inside the burgled property matched his shoes.
Catnach initially refused to answer police questions but in a later interview he made full admissions.
Catnach, 21, of Grimsby Road, Caistor, admitted burglary at the property in Pottinger Gardens, Nettleton, on 10 January this year.
Judge Rosemary Coe QC told him “This was a dwelling house burglary. The premises were unoccupied although that seems to have been by sheer chance.
“The custody threshold has been passed and in the light of what has been set out and your previous history only a sentence of immediate imprisonment is appropriate.”
Mark Watson, defending, 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 “His mother would say that he has been a nightmare. She would go out to work and she would come back and the house would stink of cannabis. He would have been drinking.
“What she says is that over the last five to six months there has been a stark change in, firstly, his attitude, and secondly, his behaviour. The reason is the relationship he is now in. It is with somebody who won’t take any nonsense from him.”
Mr Watson said that 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.