News

Thief convicted after leaving plastic bag of clothes at his own crime scene

21 Aug 2018 10:00 AM

Hazard, Michael [View Full Size]

A prolific thief who left a bag of clothes and blood-stained needles at his own crime scene has been convicted.

Michael Hazard, 36, crept into a widow’s home at St Bedes, East Boldon, in November 2017 and made away with a purse containing cash and other valuables.

However, in his haste to avoid detection, the raider forgot to take his plastic bag – full of his own clothing and used needles – with him.

Police pounced on the evidence left outside a rear ground-floor window and linked the DNA on the bag, as well as medication inside the victim’s property, to Hazard.

The offender, who is currently serving a three-year jail term imposed in January for unrelated burglaries, appeared before Newcastle Crown Court on Monday (August 20).

He was sentenced to a further two years’ imprisonment.

When first interviewed from prison, Hazard initially denied the offence and refused to cooperate with police.

However, following a thorough forensic examination which undeniably linked him with the crime, Hazard pleaded guilty to one count of burglary.

PC Claire Chapman, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a real team effort and we are delighted that Michael Hazard has been brought to justice for this offence.

“Burglary is a crime that has a devastating effect on victims, who can be left to feel vulnerable and anxious in their own home as a result. There is little doubt that communities are safer with Hazard behind bars.

“This is also another example of how advancements in forensic analysis mean the net is tightening on offenders. The tiniest trace of blood, saliva or bodily fluids can now be detected and used as concrete evidence to prove a person’s guilt.

“Protecting the public, especially the most vulnerable in our communities, remains our over-riding priority and we are pleased that the team’s hard work has been rewarded.”

Hazard was originally sentenced to three years’ imprisonment after being convicted of burgling a property on Bamburgh Close, Washington, in December 2017.