A HAPLESS burglar is behind bars after breaking into a South Tyneside shop and leaving a trail of blood.
Stephen Smith left drops of blood on the counter of Secret Fantasies Lingerie after breaking a window during the burglary in September.
Sex toys, amyl nitrate – commonly called poppers – and underwear were taken during the raid on the store, in Boldon Lane, South Shields.
Samples of the blood left at the scene were taken and the results, which were received this weekend, showed a match to 48-year-old Smith.
He was arrested and pleaded guilty to burglary when he appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Smith, of St Jude’s Terrace, South Shields, also pleaded guilty to theft, after stealing razors from the town’s Morrisons store, and breaching a suspended sentence order he was given in February after harassing an ex-girlfriend.
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said: “Police were called at about 2am on September 10 to say someone had broken into Secret Fantasies.
“The store sells fancy dress, costumes, lingerie and sex toys. The caller said a window had been broken and someone was inside but that turned out to be a mannequin.”
Mrs Beck told the court that when the store’s owner turned up she said about £180 of goods had been taken, including sex toys and lingerie. She added: “There was a piece of tissue paper with blood on in the store and some on the counter. It was sent for tests and the results identified it belonged to the defendant.
“He was arrested on Sunday and admitted being in the shop but said he only took two bottles of poppers and two sex toys. He said the rest must have been taken by someone else.”
Magistrates heard the razors were taken from Morrisons on August 7.
Smith was caught after a customer saw him leaving with them hidden under his jumper.
He was given an eight-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months in February after being convicted of harassing an ex-girlfriend.
Since then he has appeared in court for shoplifting offences and was given community orders with unpaid work, to run alongside the suspended sentence.
Christopher Brown, defending Smith at his latest appearance, said: “He says he took two items from the shop and two bottles of liquid.
“The goods weren’t recovered, but even if they had been, I don’t think they would have been suitable for resale.”
Magistrates jailed Smith for four months.
Chairwoman of the bench Lorraine Montgomerie said: “You must stop offending.”