Smoking father-of-nine caught by DNA on discarded cigarette after burgling Dagenham home


- Credit: Archant

Smoking proved to be a bad habit for a father-of-nine who was collared after throwing away a cigarette while burgling a garden shed.

Joseph Browne, 40, was given a suspended sentence at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court yesterday after he was linked to the theft of a mountain bike and a canister of fuel by DNA from his discarded cigarette.

His victim at Lymington Road, Dagenham, found the items, worth a combined £275, missing from his shed in the afternoon on May 31 and reviewed his own private CCTV camera footage from the morning.

Prosecutor Sulochana Singh said: “Browne was seen to enter the victim’s garden from the alleyway by jumping the gate.

“He is clearly seen to be smoking and later to flick his cigarette.

“The victim looked for the cigarette after seeing the footage. It had been left to burn out rather than trodden on.

“He picked it up with tweezers and put it in a sterile pot.”

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She added police later identified the DNA as that of Browne and that he gave a full “no comment” interview with officers.

Browne’s solicitor Romeo Maku-Kemi said his client had been addicted to cocaine at the time of the incident but had sought to clean up his habit since.

He said: “Browne is a father of nine children, and all the children live with him and his partner who is at the back of the court.

“She is pregnant with another child, which she only found out yesterday.

“She has also lost her only living parent, her mother, recently and said if he goes to prison today it will be a double blow for her.”

Chairman of the bench Atul Gandecha sentenced Browne to eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, for burglary.

He must obey a 7am to 7pm curfew for three months and was told to pay £275 in compensation to the victim, £85 court costs and a victim surcharge of £80.