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Byline: By JACKIE BOW South Wales Echo

A crack cocaine addict with a pounds 100-a -day habit couldn't remember ransacking a house and stealing items worth more than pounds 1,000.

But Nathan Grant had left a trail of blood after he broke in and police were able to place him at the scene using DNA data, Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard.

Grant, 19, from Alexander Court, Lansbury Park, Caerphilly, was sentenced to 15 months in a Young Offenders' Institution after admitting burglary.

Prosecuting Janet McDonald said Michael Thomas returned to his home in Ynysangharad Road, Pontypridd, last August, to find an 'an absolute mess'. Every drawer had been tipped out.

Twenty-one items were missing, ranging from a leather jacket and jewellery to chocolates and a passport. Nothing was recovered.

Grant knew a warrant was out for his arrest and handed himself in.

He couldn't remember the burglary and pleaded guilty on the evidence of the blood connecting him to the crime scene.

Judge Eleri Rees was told the offence put Grant in breach of a combination order - similar to a community rehabilitation order - imposed for various offences last year.

Matthew Cobb, defending, said Grant went off the rails at 16.

His pounds 100-a-day crack cocaine habit was his main reason for his offending and had led to depression and paranoia.

Grant told him he was now drug free and while in custody had tried to get on the drug free wing but it was full.

Judge Rees said one could only imagine the burglary victim's shock and distress. She said she was not satisfied Grant was prepared to respond to a Drug Testing and Treatment Order. In sentencing him she said she considered his plea, age, and his willingness to address his crack cocaine habit and change his ways.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 25, 2004
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