A BUNGLING burglar broke into a Whitehaven car sales business and caused damage - but was caught after leaving his blood at the scene.

Owner Dennis Evans left his premises, Church Car Sales on Preston Street, secure on the evening of August 20.

But Mr Evans discovered a break-in the following morning. “He found personal items from his office strewn on the forecourt of his garage,” prosecutor Gerard Rogerson told Carlisle Crown Court.

“He also noticed the window of his office had been smashed. There was a large rock lying on the ground in the area. He also noticed the presence of blood on broken glass.”

Two cars - a Ford Fiesta and a Hyundai Santa Fe - had been damaged. “There was also blood found within one of the vehicles together with half a spade and a screwdriver which Mr Evans recognised as having come from his office,” said Mr Rogerson.

The total cost of all damage caused was £300.

“Mr Evans concludes by saying he is just trying to run a business,” said the prosecutor. “He works hard to maintain that business, which he started from scratch. He says nobody has the right to disrupt his business and cause damage to that extent.

“As a result of having to clean up his office and business he lost six hours of trading time that day.”

Samples of blood were analysed. “This was found to be a match for Mr Jefferson,” added Mr Rogerson.

When arrested, on October 15, Lee Jefferson, 44, of no fixed abode, handed over an illegally held knife. He could not be interviewed on custody because of his conduct, later admitting burglary and having a bladed article.

Kim Whittlestone, defending, confirmed that class A drug abuse lay behind prolific offending which had seen him rack up 163 previous offences.

“It is an unpleasant and unsophisticated offence,” she said of the burglary. “He says he has no recollection of it, such was the level of his drug addiction at the time.”

Jailing Jefferson for eight months, plus 140 consecutive days for the knife crime, Judge Simon Medland QC said: “(The addiction of offences) lead you into a revolving door of sentences of imprisonment which are bound only to get longer and longer.”