Tuesday 23 July 2024
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Bloody fingerprint lands shop burglar a jail sentence

Three burglars were caught in the act of breaking into a shop by officers out on patrol.

Response cops were in Newark town centre when they heard an alarm going off and went to investigate.

After following the sound to Kirkgate, they saw that a store had been broken into and the intruders were still inside.

As officers moved in through the front door, Christopher Binns was the first to try to make his escape but was immediately brought to a halt.

His co-conspirator Michael Richens then managed to climb through a window and run from the scene but didn’t get far before he was also detained.

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Officers carried out a further search of the inside of the shop at this point, where they found Christopher Storton trying to hide under some coats.

The trio were all arrested following the burglary in the early hours of 4 August 2022 – at which point Richens was also arrested for a separate break-in.

Richens had left a bloody fingerprint behind on a set of drawers after cutting himself during another burglary in Newark town centre.

Screenshot 2023 02 25 at 15.42.24
Michael Richens

On this occasion, the 40-year-old managed to make off with more than £2,000 worth of stolen clothes from the store in Middle Gate on 27 April 2022.

After detectives discovered the fingerprint at the crime scene, however, police were able to forensically link this offence to Richens.

He was charged with two counts of burglary, while Binns and Storton were both charged with burglary.

Having all pleaded guilty, the trio appeared before Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on Wednesday (22 February).

Richens, of no fixed address, was jailed for 18 months.

Storton, 41, of HMP Nottingham, was handed a one-year sentence, but due to the time already served in custody while on remand, he was released on licence for the rest of his sentence.

Binns, 39, of Forest Road, Ollerton, was sentenced to a year in prison suspended for a year. He was also ordered to complete 20 rehabilitation days.

Inspector Matt Ward, District Commander for Newark and Sherwood, said: “Richens, Storton and Binns showed a complete disregard for the law by making the conscious decision to break into a store and take what didn’t belong to them.

“Thanks to the awareness of our officers out on patrol that morning, they didn’t get away with their illicit scheme and they were all quickly detained.

“This stop also allowed us to link Richens to another shop burglary he’d played a key role in, after some more fantastic police work uncovered a fingerprint he’d left behind at the scene of that crime.

“Burglaries such as this can have a hugely detrimental impact on local businesses and – as a direct result of that – people’s livelihoods as well.

“This kind of behaviour is completely unacceptable, so I’m pleased to see that Richens, Storton and Binns have all now appeared before the courts.

“If they didn’t realise it already, they should now see just how seriously we take reports of this nature.”

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