Hungry burglar is caught out by DNA

A BURGLAR who broke into William Parker School and helped himself to food from a fridge was too drunk to remember what happened.

Ryan Barrett, 20, of Beaufort Road, St Leonards, was caught after his DNA was found on a carton of fruit drink.

He had initially denied burglary and a further charge of breaking into the Phone Centre, Cambridge Road, but changed his plea to guilty when he appeared at Hastings Magistrates Court recently.

Barrett also asked for two other burglaries to be taken into consideration admitting to stealing £950 from Walton Close Community Centre, St Leonards, and £2,100 of goods from Hastings Baby Centre, Queens Road.

Jeremy King, prosecuting, said Barrett forced entry into the kitchen area of William Parker Lower School between April 23 and 26 and removed food from the fridge, and also caused damage to an area known as The Snack Shack.

“A forensic examination found his DNA on a fruit drink,” said Mr King, who later added: “He told police he had never been inside William Parker School and was disputing the DNA.

“He has nine previous convictions for 32 offences, including for burglary as well as numerous breaches of court orders and ASBO’s.

Ronan Crummy, defending, said:

“He was a drug user from the age of 13 and his partner died from drug and alcohol abuse, which was devastating for him.”

Originally from the Nottingham area, his family moved him to Hastings 16 months ago to “help him recover” from the ordeal.

Mr Crummy said: “He is now off drugs entirely but there are issues of alcohol misuse.

“He was drunk at the time of the offences and can remember little about them but accepts he must have been involved.”

Magistrates sentenced Barrett to a 12 month supervision order with an alcohol rehabilitation requirement.

He was also ordered to pay £50 compensation to the school, and £100 compensation to Hastings Baby Centre and the community centre.