A serial burglar who targeted a village hall, a hospital and sports club has been jailed for 12 months.
David Houghton, 56, of Ellesmere Port, appeared at Chester Magistrates Court on 27 January where he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment after pleading guilty to burglary offences.
The court heard how Houghton’s crime spree had began on the afternoon of 19 December 2021 when he arrived at the Vauxhall Motors football ground and entered the referee’s changing room while a match was in progress, taking a bag which contained £20 cash and an expensive mobile phone.
Later that evening he had then gained entry to a village hall on Capenhurst Lane.
He made an untidy search of the premises and took two vacuum cleaners worth around £170 from a cleaning cupboard.
Playstation games and a WIFI extender were also taken along with a microwave and kettle.
The hall’s caretaker had gone to open the hall when they discovered that they had been burgled.
A blood-stained piece of kitchen roll had been dropped on the stage area of the premises and was seized as evidence by police.
On 6 January, Houghton was challenged by the owner of a van in Tarvin after he was seen trying to gain access to it and then drove away in his own car.
The 56-year-old then returned to the Vauxhall Motors football ground on the morning of 22 January while parents and children were present supporting grassroots football. He entered the Sports and Social club where he stole bottles of vodka and whiskey.
A day later, he set his sights on a hospital in Ellesmere Port. Despite visiting restrictions being in place due to coronavirus measures, Houghton got inside and began trying doors before gaining entry to the kitchen area, taking cash, coffee, tea bags and sugar – all of which would have been used by resident patients and staff at the hospital.
Police had been investigating each incident but following forensic examination, the bloodied kitchen roll from the village hall was found to be a direct DNA hit to Houghton.
Officers then began the task of piecing together CCTV, which also showed Houghton in and around the places targeted at the time of each offence.
Houghton was arrested and subsequently charged with four counts of burglary and one count of vehicle interference. He was denied bail and appeared at Chester Magistrates Court on Thursday 27 January.
Detective Sergeant Graeme Carvell, of Western Proactive Team, said, “Burglary is a serious offence and Houghton targeted businesses and charity organisations.
“Houghton had no regard for his actions and even managed to gain entry to a hospital and snatched items which were destined to be used by inpatients.
“This good result will see Houghton off the streets and hope it will make anyone who thinks they can get away with burglary in Cheshire to think again. We will not stop in pursuing those bringing misery to our local communities.”