Burglar jailed thanks to just one fingerprint

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A SINGLE fingerprint has landed a man with an 18-month prison sentence for burglary.

Ashley Littlejohn’s terrified 20-year-old female victim was in bed in her flat when she heard a noise at her bedroom window.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard that she woke up in her flat in Sackville Street, Southsea, got out of bed, lifted the blind and found her window had been opened.

Prosecutor Martyn Booth told the court police were called and scenes of crimes officers found a fingerprint on one of the windows.

He said: ‘One can see that the location of the fingerprint is inside the property.’

Police checked the print against their records and found a match with Littlejohn, 30, of St Paul’s Road, Southsea.

He said there was initially talk by police of an attempted burglary but as the fingerprint was inside the property Littlejohn was charged and later admitted burglary.

The court heard Littlejohn had made 27 previous court appearances for 47 offences.

Reading the victim’s personal statement, Mr Booth said: ‘I couldn’t sleep, I was so scared.

‘I had to sleep in my flatmate’s bed.’

The victim also said she now leaves lights on in her bedroom to deter burglars.

Recorder Nicholas Atkinson QC sentenced Littlejohn to 18 months in prison.

He said burglars with as many previous convictions as Littlejohn would normally be sentenced to three years in prison

But he said it would be ‘unjust’ to do so in Littlejohn’s case as he was trying to turn his life around.

Mr Atkinson added: ‘I hope the determination to change your life will be realised when you are released from prison.’

Littlejohn did not get into the flat any further than his fingerprint indicated and nothing was taken. It happened on March 8.

Robert Forrest, defending, said Littlejohn was a painter and decorator and had some spare cash that night.

He said: ‘He had surplus money, he spent it on alcohol and drugs.

‘On the night in question he went to a local public house opposite the burgled flat, took alcohol, took cocaine and committed this offence.’