Burglar, 40, was caught out by DNA af­ter his raid on art gallery

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - John HAWKINS & Melissa JONES gloslive­[email protected]­plc.com

ABURGLAR was caught af­ter leav­ing a smear of blood and an axe be­hind in a raid. Jamie Nash, 40, from Birm­ing­ham, smashed through the door of Stow-on­the-wold’s Claren­don Fine Art in the early hours of March 5.

While flee­ing the scene with a huge haul of art­work, he dis­carded his weapon on the floor and left blood on the wall, which led to his cap­ture just three days later.

Prose­cu­tor Ja­nine Wood told Glouces­ter Crown Court: “The alarm was ac­ti­vated and po­lice ar­rived to find the front door open.

“Paint­ings and sculp­tures were miss­ing to the value of £44,975. What im­pli­cated him was a smear of blood on a wall in the gallery which was a DNA match to the de­fen­dant.”

Nash, of Bris­tol Road South, North­field, Birm­ing­ham, pleaded guilty to break­ing into the premises at around 3.30am.

He also ad­mit­ted two counts of bur­glary at the Thomas Sabo Shop at Cribbs Cause­way, Bris­tol - of­fences car­ried out nearly two years apart.

On Jan­uary 30, 2016, he took six watches worth £2566 and on April 10, 2018, in the se­cond raid, he stole three watches val­ued at £1335.

Ms Wood said the ini­tial of­fence went un­solved un­til Nash was picked up fol­low­ing the break-in last year.

Fin­ger­prints from both matched.

“CCTV ev­i­dence showed a man tip­ping watches into a car­rier bag,” Ms Wood told the court about the first one.

“He re­turned on April 10 2018 to the same shop and a shop as­sis­tant no­ticed watches miss­ing from the cab­i­net. CCTV showed him go into the shop, open the cab­i­net and he is seen con­ceal­ing some­thing in his jacket.

“He is seen leav­ing in a Corsa which was owned by a stu­dent who also had not been in Bris­tol that day so this ve­hi­cle plate was also cloned.

“On May 2 the po­lice struck lucky when he was seen driv­ing the car and was ar­rested.

“He de­nied the of­fences and said it could be one of his brothers. Fin­ger­print ev­i­dence con­firmed a match for the de­fen­dant and he was re­leased pend­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions.”

The man­ager of Claren­don Fine Art, Juliet Cleaver, de­scribed how staff were dis­turbed by see­ing the axe ly­ing on the floor when they in­spected the premises. “It’s dev­as­tat­ing for the gallery and all of the artists con­cerned,” she said. “Ev­ery paint­ing re­quires emo­tion, time and thought. It’s like los­ing some­thing per­sonal.” De­fend­ing Nash, who ap­peared via video link from HMP Hewell, Teresa Hunt said her client had spent a con­sid­er­able time “of­fence free.” “He spent five years lead­ing a law abid­ing life,” she said. “He worked on a mar­ket sell­ing fruit and veg and has a daugh­ter who is now 13. “He de­vel­oped a co­caine habit, bor­rowed money to fund the habit - which led to these of­fences.

“He is now clean and wants to make amends to his daugh­ter.” Sen­tenc­ing Nash to three and a half years in prison, Judge Ja­son Tay­lor QC said he hoped for Nash’s sake that he man­ages to ab­stain from crime when he is re­leased.

He sen­tenced Nash to nine months jail for each of­fence at the Bris­tol jew­ellery shop and a fur­ther two years for the bur­glary of the art gallery, amount­ing to three and a half years in to­tal.

Jamie Nash

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.