Loughborough Echo

Burglar left obvious clue to his identity at crime scene


- By TOM MACK News Reporter

A burglar who broke into nine homes in six weeks left a methadone bottle with his name on at one of the addresses.

Niel Corrigan targeted homes while their occupants were out, usually smashing his way through patio doors before ransacking the properties and taking valuables.

One of his victims was an elderly woman with dementia who had moved into her residentia­l home a few days before the break-in.

The first incident was at a home in Brookside Road, Loughborou­gh, where Corrigan stole computers, mobile phones, cameras, camera lenses and other items, totalling about £6,425.

The next break-in was at the home of the woman with dementia in Selvester Drive, Quorn.

Corrigan took her purse and bank cards and her mobile phone. Her daughter visited on September 9 and found the patio door at the back of the property had been smashed.

Police were called and blood found at the scene was matched to Corrigan, who has a long list of previous offences.

The stolen bank cards were used at a nearby Co-op to buy tobacco and Corrigan was also identified from the shop CCTV.

Jewellery and cash were then stolen from a home in Castle Rock Drive, Coalville, while the occupants were on holiday.

It was there that he left behind his methadone – a prescribed heroin substitute – with a label showing his name.

Then. on September 18, he broke into a house in John Boden Way in Loughborou­gh while the occupants were visiting friends, taking computers, a camera, jewellery, bank cards, a games console and watches.

Items from the break-ins were taken to a branch of Cash Converters where he sold them under his own name, which enabled police to link him to the burglaries. Having been charged with those four burglaries, Corrigan at first denied all the offences but later admitted them in a police interview. He appeared at Leicester Crown Court on Monday where he asked for the other five burglaries to be taken into considerat­ion.

They occurred during the same period at homes in Loughborou­gh, Coalville and Hathern.

He also admitted breaking into a JCB parked on Kenmore Crescent in Coalville, smashing a window but not taking anything.

The court heard Corrigan (46), of Griggs Road, Loughborou­gh, had 116 previous conviction­s stretching back to 1991.

Nadia Khan, representi­ng Corrigan, said her client should be evaluated by a psychiatri­st before being sentenced.

She said: “He is saying he suffers with bipolar disorder. He has been addicted to drugs for over 20 years.”

She said he had stopped offending but been “coerced” into carrying out more burglaries to pay off a debt.

The case was adjourned until January 17 for sentencing.

Judge Mark Watson told Corrigan: “It’s extremely likely a lengthy custodial sentence will be passed but that will be for another judge to decide.”

One of his victims was an elderly woman with dementia who had moved into her residentia­l home days before

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