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Burglar caught by a cucumber

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Hum    6,930

A DOZY burglar was caught by police after having a bite out of a cucumber.

Billy Joe Donnelly, 22, was peckish when he raided a greenhouse down a country lane.

During the raid, however, he couldn't resist sampling the home-grown produce and his DNA was later discovered on a cucumber.

The honorary Recorder of Hull and the East Riding, Judge Michael Mettyear, declared in disbelief: "He was caught by a cucumber."

Donnelly, of Wimbourne Close, Bransholme, ate a variety of produce and then burgled the home of the owners on August 21.

Prosecutor Jharna Jobes said: "The owner was going to sell the items he was growing in the greenhouse, but someone had been in there and eaten most of the vegetables and a cucumber. A cucumber was found with his DNA on it.

"The occupants were in bed asleep at the time and there must have been some planning involved in this."

Donnelly then broke into the house next to the greenhouse in the village of Preston by breaking a window.

Donnelly ransacked the house, stealing treasured possessions including a retirement watch the homeowner had been given when he retired from Hull Royal Infirmary.

His wife woke to discover her car was also missing.

In a victim impact statement, the couple said they now felt they needed to sell their home of more than 20 years because they no longer felt safe after what Donnelly had done.

They said: "It has been very distressing.

"He stole two keyrings, which were of sentimental value given to me by my mother after my father died in 1972.

"We intend to sell the house now after what has happened."

Donnelly also stole ?77 of meat from a shop.

When the police arrested him on August 25, two cannabis plants were found in his airing cupboard.

He pleaded guilty at Hull Crown Court to two burglaries, theft and to producing cannabis.

His barrister Stephen Robinson said: "The burglary has had a profound effect on the complainants. He was just not thinking about that at the time.

"He is sorry for what has happened and he bitterly regrets his actions.

"He had been drinking heavily at the time and was riding around on his bike when he entered the greenhouse and he ate some of the produce from there. It was foolish behaviour and he was identified by a cucumber."

Judge Mettyear has jailed Donnelly, who has previous convictions for a burglary and shop thefts, for two and a half years.

He told him: "Burglaries are regarded as serious by the courts because, often, people who are the victims sometimes never fully recover from what happens to them and they have been in this case.

"They have been left so upset by what has happened they are going to have to move.

"It is absolutely ghastly and why courts regard it as so serious.

"I have absolutely no doubt you were out looking for something to do and the consequences have been ghastly.

"Only custody can be justified the only question is how long the sentence should be.

"The only real mitigation was your plea of guilty."


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Growled    3,880


During the raid, however, he couldn't resist sampling the home-grown produce and his DNA was later discovered on a cucumber.


Just begging to get caught, I guess. 

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