Bungling Northam burglar facing jail

Exeter Crown Court

Exeter Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

A bungling burglar is facing jail after he left a torch with his DNA on it at the scene of his crime. 

Dean Hiscott broke into a house in Venton Close, Westward Ho! and used a set of keys to break into a car where he stole a purse but dropped his torch. 

He then went to Bideford, where he used stolen bank cards to withdraw £300 from cashpoint machines on the Quay within hours of the break-in. 

Police found the empty purse and another set of keys from the house at his home, but jewellery and more than £500 cash were never recovered. 

Hiscott, aged 30, of Cross Street, Northam, denied burglary and four counts of fraud but was found guilty within 30 minutes by a jury at Exeter Crown Court. 

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They rejected his claim that he met a mystery homeless man outside a shop in Northam at 5am on the day of the burglary who left the stolen items at his home after he invited him back for breakfast. 

Judge Timothy Rose remanded Hiscott in custody, ordered a probation report, and warned him that he may receive an immediate jail sentence when he returns to court next month. 

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He told him: “You were convicted by the jury in less than half an hour on overwhelming evidence.” 

Miss Bathsheba Cassel, prosecuting, said the burglary took place on the night of October 24 last year and the card was used to withdraw cash at 8am the next morning. 

There were three successful attempts to take out money and several more failed transactions. CCTV showed Hiscott with a distinctive bag and jacket during one of these in a shop in the centre of Bideford. 

The police found the stolen purse and house keys hidden above a kitchen unit at Hiscott’s home. 

Mr Paul Grumbar, defending, said Hiscott has previous convictions but is not a prolific burglar. He said his family describe him as having low intelligence and he has mental health issues which are still being investigated. 

One assessment suggests he may have an anti-social personality disorder or psychosis and he moved to North Devon to be closer to his family after failing in an attempt to live independently in Southampton. 

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