Bungling burglar dropped photo of himself at scene of his crime
A BURGLAR was caught after he dropped a set of door keys with his photograph on it at the scene of the crime.
Antoni Dolphin crept into the house in Bowers Avenue, between Mapperley Park and St Ann's, and stole a Motorola notebook worth £300.
He made a noise as he left and disturbed the householder, who was decorating upstairs, Nottingham Crown Court heard.
The man, whose wife and child were out at the time, rushed downstairs at 1pm on January 29.
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Dolphin fled by the front door and the chasing resident tripped on the step – scuppering his chances of capturing Dolphin. But he then noticed a set of keys on his pathway.
Judge Michael Stokes QC, who sentenced Dolphin, said: "The burglar must have tripped as well."
On the key ring were photographs embossed in plastic of 38-year-old Dolphin, of Rushton Gardens, St Ann's, with his girlfriend.
The householder handed the key ring to police.
One officer was able to identify Dolphin, who had ten previous convictions for burglary and attempted burglary.
Police spoke to Dolphin's partner and she confirmed the keys belonged to her.
Steven Taylor, prosecuting, said Dolphin told her he had lost the keys and they had to borrow a spare set from a neighbour.
"The defendant was arrested and confirmed the keys belonged to him and his partner but did not offer an explanation as to how they came to be on the burgled premises," said Mr Taylor. "He indicated a not guilty plea at the magistrates' court."
But at court this week, he had a change of heart and pleaded guilty to burglary.
Judge Stokes sentenced him to two years and nine months in prison.
The court heard Dolphin was one of many convicted criminals who had been hit with a hefty sentence in recent months for serial burglary.
Anyone who commits three burglaries or more faces a minimum three-year stretch inside under the Government's "three strikes and you're out" policy.
Dolphin's sentence was reduced because of his guilty plea. He will serve half before he is released on parole.
Adrian Reynolds told the court, in mitigation, that Dolphin realised he would put his partner in an extremely difficult position if he had a trial.
Of the burglary, Mr Reynolds said: "Once he realised the house was occupied, he ran off. He regrets what he did."