Thief caught after dropping cigarette butt

Dundee Sheriff Court
Dundee Sheriff Court

A thief was snared after he dropped a cigarette butt in a bedroom he had raided.

Andrew Armstrong has been jailed for 10 months after being linked to the break in at an address in Falkland, by DNA he left on the roll up cigarette.

Armstrong - a career criminal with a string of convictions for housebreaking - later claimed he had no knowledge of the crime.

But he finally admitted his guilt over the raid - in which he stole £1000 worth of cash and jewellery - at Dundee Sheriff Court.

Fiscal depute Saima Rasheed said: “The homeowners returned home and found a sash and case window had been smashed.

“They entered and found jewellery and cash was missing.

“They found a roll up cigarette lying on the carpet.

“That was recovered and sent to the lab for DNA analysis.

“The accused was detained in July for this theft by housebreaking and made no reply to the charge.

“He denied being responsible for it but couldn’t explain the roll up cigarette with his DNA on it.”

Armstrong (44), of Martin Crescent, Ballingry, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of theft by housebreaking.

It was committed at Balreavie Farm House, Falkland, on June 3 last year.

Defence solicitor Zander Flett said: “He has a fairly substantial record.

“He had been in the area collecting scrap with others, took some valium and committed this offence.

“He accepts custody is inevitable.”

Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC jailed Armstrong for 10 months and said: “Given the goods that were taken and your record there is really no alternative to custody.”