A BURGLAR has been given a suspended jail sentence after his foot and fingerprints were matched to the scene of a crime.

Martin Paul Kelly admitted stealing two mountain bikes which were taken from an unsecured garage in Abbey Road, Darlington, on March 8 this year.

Enquiries led police to an address in Stanhope Road North, in the town, where they found the bikes after a search.

Prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, Sue Jacobs said officers found a footprint at the garage burglary.

After arresting Kelly his distinctive footwear was examined and supported the fact he had been at the scene.

A fingerprint was also found on one of the bikes which belonged to Kelly.

Mrs Jacobs also said a note was found at the defendant's home which he had written, referring to one of the cycles and him “going for more stuff”.

The 47-year-old had 79 previous convictions for 177 criminal offences – largely theft and dishonesty related matters – but this was his first recorded burglary offence since 1997.

Kelly was arrested on March 9 and had been in custody ever since. He was said to have problems with drug use and was looking for fresh accommodation.

The defendant, previously of Boundary Street, Shildon, County Durham, received a nine month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months from Judge Peter Bowers.