BUNGLING thief David Stedman landed himself in jail for three years after asking police officers who knocked at his door: ‘Are you here about the burglary?’
In fact the officers knew nothing of the break-in but clueless Stedman then showed them where the stolen goods were and even gave them the address of his victim.
The 43-year-old had only just been released from jail for a string of 10 burglaries when he stole a computer, a jewellery box and cash from a house in Sedgeley Grove, Gosport.
The next day, the police called at his home in South Street, Gosport, over an issue to do with his release on licence.
But as soon as he saw the police Stedman started talking.
Daniel Reilly, defending, told Portsmouth Crown Court: ‘When the police attended in relation to his licence situation he was heard to ask immediately “is this about the burglary?”. They said “no, what burglary?”.
‘He told them what burglary he had committed and provided all the information.’
Mr Reilly added: ‘Mr Stedman is realistic. He understands he is going to receive a custody sentence.
‘He has a drug problem, he says it was getting worse. It was getting out of control.’
Stedman told the police he had just walked past the house and decided to burgle it. He broke through a fence and then smashed a window at the back of the house during the raid last month.
The court heard he has more than 100 previous convictions, including 27 for burglary.
He had been released early from a 42-month prison sentence when he committed his latest offence.
Sentencing him, Deputy Circuit Judge Patrick Hooton said: ‘After you had been given 42 months for a whole string of burglaries you came out on licence and off you go and commit another one.
‘You know as well as I do there’s no excuse for it.
‘You decided to go in and do another burglary and take people’s stuff from their house. Every time someone is burgled it’s a serious intrusion.’