Man sprayed sauce over couple’s flat

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A neighbour who trashed a couple’s flat and burgled more than £2,500 of goods has been jailed for 28 months.

William Moore, 46, of Dickson Road, Blackpool, squirted and smeared sauces over furniture and carpets, smashed glass and threw broken biscuits everywhere as the victims holidayed in Scotland.

He fled with a computer, television, DVD player, 150 DVDs and CDs and a passport.

But he was caught out when his fingerprints were found on the bottles of sauce he had sprayed on the furniture.

Judge Pamela Badley said: “This is not an ordinary burglary - you knew the victim and you knew them because you all resided in the same block of flats and you occasionally socialised together.

“I know you have had your problems, you lost your mother, you lived alone, but you began to resent other people and although it isn’t the case you have been a burglar in recent times, it is the bitterness and resentful aspect of the case which is most powerful.

“You wanted to hit back at whatever the reason was.

“The trauma caused by the trashing the flat spraying the sauce and mayonnaise around was considerable.”

Prosecuting, Paul Cummings said “The complainant lives with his partner.

“They knew the defendant and had had difficulties with him as neighbours over time.

“They were living in the flat before this occasion in March when they decided to go away for the weekend to Scotland.

“On their return they were contacted by the landlord saying their flat was broken into. Electrical items were missing and he flat had been trashed.

“Police became involved and they could see that items had been taken.

“There was glass broken and sauce and food had been spread over the floor and furniture.

Some broken biscuits had also been thrown about the property.

“Documents had been taken from a safe.

The defendant’s name was given to police.

“He was arrested and spoken to.

At the same time it seemed his name was linked to a shop that takes second hand goods. The defendant was seen to go to that shop and attempt to sell on some of the stolen items.

“The police were able to link up goods left at that shop.”

The court heard Moore tried to say his fingerprints were present because he had been a visitor on a number of occasions until they had “fallen out”, but the victims said the sauces had only been bought just before they went away.

Moore, who admitted burglary, now has 25 convictions for 35 offences dating back to 1989.

Defending, Fraser Livesey, said: “ I submit there are aggravating features - the most significant is ransacking and the associated unpleasantness but I don’t agree it is a targeted attack.

“His early guilty plea is accompanied by genuine remorse.

“He was at a low point in his life and retreated into alcohol misuse following the death of his mother the previous year and struggling to cope with his own health problems and his partners’.