Grays burglar who left forensic clues at scenes of crimes jailed

A burglar, who left his own blood at the scene of two crimes giving police vital forensic evidence, has been jailed for nearly three years after admitting his crimes.

Joshua Wiggins, 23, of Schoolfield Way, Grays, is now beginning a sentence of two years’ eight months after pleading guilty at Basildon Crown Court.

The court heard how on October 29 last year, Wiggins forced his way into a florist in Stanford-le-Hope after kicking a door in.

He ripped out a till, causing injury to himself in the process, before dumping the till on a green opposite the shop. However, a blood smear he left on the till meant officers had a vital piece of evidence to help catch him.

During the break-in, Wiggins also damaged a cupboard and smashed bottles of champagne and in total caused £500 damage.

Just under a month later, on November 27 last year, Wiggins broke into a fish and chip shop at the Lakeside Business Village in Grays. He again ripped out the till, which contained just £1 in cash, causing significant damage to wiring, the till and the window and shutter of the shop.

In total Wiggins caused around £1,000 damage. However, crucially for police, in ripping out the till Wiggins had again caused injury to himself and left another vital forensic clue in the form of another blood smear.

Forensic tests of the blood left at both crime scenes led officers to arrest Wiggins.

He was arrested, charged and pleaded guilty to both burglaries when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court. He also admitted failing to comply with the terms of the Sex Offenders’ Register and to eight other burglaries which he committed outside the Essex area.

Wiggins was jailed for two years eight months’ following the hearing which took place at Basildon Crown Court on Thursday March 18.

Following the sentencing PC Annabel Courtnell of the Grays Local Policing Team said: “Wiggins had absolutely no thought for the victims in this case, not content with stealing from them he caused significant amounts of damage to both businesses.

“The last year has been really tough for our local businesses and the last thing any of them need is to be targeted in this way.

“Fortunately, Wiggins wasn’t very bright and left his blood at both scenes which gave us the vital forensic evidence we need to ensure he was swiftly brought to justice.

“We will continue to protect and serve our communities, including our valued local businesses, and criminals can rest assured that we will continue to do all we can to put them behind bars.”

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]