Serial Burglar Caught Through Shoeprints

A man has been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to a number of burglary offences in the Christchurch and Bournemouth areas.

Two burglaries occurred on Monday 29 October 2012 at Hurn Road in Christchurch.

Shoeprints obtained from the scene and a description of the offender led to the arrest of 45-year-old Nicholas Birch from Bournemouth by the Dorset Police Priority Crime Team on Wednesday 31 October 2012.

A search of his vehicle revealed property from a burglary along Grove Road in Bournemouth which had happened during that morning.

Nicholas Birch subsequently admitted these offences and eight further burglaries in East, Central and North Bournemouth.

Birch appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court and pleaded guilty. On Friday 9 November 2012 he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

Inspector Richard Dixey, of Dorset Police Priority Crime Team, said:

“The judge gave credit for Birch’s early guilty plea and his engagement with the police and gave a reduced sentence accordingly.

“If found guilty during a trial after a not guilty plea, Birch would have otherwise been sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

“This man is a prolific and repeat offender who has committed numerous offences during 2012.

“His sentencing for these crimes is a result of the hard work of the Priority Crime Team in Bournemouth which targets dwelling burglary offences and works tirelessly to bring those offenders to justice.

“However, I am equally pleased that Mr Birch decided to wipe the slate clean and admit other offences he had committed to the police.

"This allows the victims of those crimes some resolution in knowing that the offender has been caught and has been sentenced.”