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8 November 2013, 12:26 | Updated: 8 November 2013, 12:36
A burglar who drank champagne as he raided a school in Ashford has been jailed after Kent police officers detected his fingerprints from a discarded bottle.
Darrell Shaw was sentenced to 12 months in prison at Canterbury Crown court on Tuesday (5 November) after previously pleading guilty to burglary.
Shaw, formerly of Twelve Acres, Willesborough, entered Ashford School in East Hill between 14 and 15 September, after breaching an insecure entrance to the building.
He stole items worth more than £1,700 including a computer, Nikon camera and a video camera.
The 44 year-old had been out drinking with friends prior to the incident and after entering a residential area of the school helped himself to champagne from a fridge in a staff bedroom.
The alarm was raised when a member of staff spotted the bottle’s cork lying on a floor and Shaw was arrested after forensic officers detected his fingerprints on a bottle discovered close by.
Shaw told officers he had once worked at the school, whilst employed for a removal company and claimed he had entered the premises to use a toilet. Shaw added that he remembered stealing the items but then claimed he had dumped them shortly after he left.
Acting Detective Sergeant Robert Goodban said: ‘Shaw’s actions were no doubt influenced by drinking too much alcohol but there can never be an excuse for burglary, which often has devastating consequences for the victims. Hopefully this sentence will give him time to reflect on his actions.’
ADS Goodban added: ‘We would like to remind everyone to stay safe by making sure to lock up all doors and windows before you go out or to bed. By taking just a few simple steps people can really reduce their chances of becoming a victim of crime.’