Four-year-old catches burglar red-handed
A burglar has been jailed after being caught by a four-year-old girl in the village which inspired the Miss Marple stories.
Sneak thief Michael Nadin broke into a family home in broad daylight and was caught red-handed after the little girl told her shocked grandmother there was a strange man in the hallway.
The intruder fled but was chased by the little girl’s father who tackled him in the street where an off duty policeman held him until officers arrived, Exeter Crown Court was told.
Detectives found him wearing a chain and other jewellery which was believed to have been stolen in another raid just days before.
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He was caught in St Marychurch, Torquay, which was the inspiration for St Mary Mead, the setting for Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories.
Nadin, aged 39, of Abbey Crescent, Torquay, admitted burglary and was jailed for two years and four months by Judge Francis Gilbert, QC.
The judge told him:”By law, since this is your third conviction for dwelling house burglary since 1999, you are subject to the minimum term provisions of three years less 20 per cent discount for your guilty plea.”
Miss Janice Eagles, prosecuting, said the burglary happened in St Marychurch Road, Torquay in April while pensioners Roger and Veronica Pulver were entertaining their daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren.
She said:”In the early evening the four-year-old granddaughter Evie came into the kitchen where the adults were chatting and said she had seen a man in the hallway.
“Her grandmother got up to check and she and her son-in-law Neil Treadwell going into the garden with a toolkit with him.
“Mr Treadwell challenged him but his speech seemed slurred and he walked off down St Marychurch Road. Mr Treadwell decided not to let him get away and chased him and stopped him in the street 100 metres away.”
Miss Eagles said an off duty policeman held him and officers from a passing patrol car arrested him with a bundle of empty plastic carrier bags taken from the hallway.
She added:”We say that although he only took carrier bags, if he had not been disturbed by the young child, he would have taken other things.”
Mr Paul Dentith, defending, said Nadin has been in custody since his arrest and should be given credit for pleading guilty at an early stage and showing remorse for his actions.