DNA on cigarette helps catch car radio thief

A man has been jailed after being cuaght by DNA left on a cigarette he threw away as he stole from a camper van.

Neil Broadbent, 35, admitted the theft as well as possession of amphetamine and failing to surrender to bail.

On September 20 Broadbent smashed the window of a camper van parked on Birds Royd Lane, Brighouse, and made off with a car radio, sat-nav, seven inch reversing monitor and a mobile phone hands free kit worth a combined total of £479.

He was caught when the owner of the van found a discarded cigarette end in the passenger footwell of the van and police used forensic evidence to identify Broadbent.

The possession of amphetamine - a class B drug - offence occurred on November 11 when police spoke to him about a separate incident. They found two small bags of white powder.

He claimed that he forgot the drugs were in his possession and told officers he had paid around £20 for them.

Calderdale Magistrates’ Court heard that Broadbent, of Victoria Place, Rastrick, was subject to a suspended prison sentence imposed by magistrates in Bradford at the time of the offences for handling stolen goods.

Sam Jackson, mitigating, said: “His anti-psychotic medication has been stopped. Not taking his prescription led to the criminal offences.”

Magistrates decided to invoke part of the term of the suspended sentence jailing Broadbent for 16 weeks. For the theft from the motor vehicle he was handed a further 16 weeks in prison plus a four week sentence for the possession of a class B drug.

The court heard that Broadbent had recently been involved in a car accident and was due a large financial payout so they ordered that he pay compensation of £479 in full to the owner of the camper van.