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