Prolific burglar found asleep on victim's sofa surrounded by half-eaten Easter eggs

David Potham was found fast asleep on his victim's sofa surrounded by half eaten Easter eggs. Credit: South Wales Police / Media Wales

A burglar was found at seven o'clock in the morning sleeping on his victim's sofa surrounded by half-eaten Easter eggs. 

David Potham stayed asleep until police officers arrived at the house in Swansea and woke him up.

Potham had a pair of his victim's socks on his hands, stolen earrings in his pocket and a rucksack full of the family's possessions - including the children's passports and a laptop. 

Swansea Crown Court heard the two young girls who lived in the house were "terrorised" by the experience of having an intruder in their home, and have been left worried that he will return.

Potham had more than 140 previous offences on his record including 23 burglaries.

The court heard that on the night of May 24 2022, a family in Port Tennant, Swansea, locked up their house and went to bed.

Swansea Crown Court heard the two young girls who live in the house were "terrorised" by the experience. Credit: Media Wales

At around 7am the following day the male victim woke up and went downstairs to find the front and back doors were open. He found Potham sleeping on the sofa in the living room with half-eaten Easter eggs and clothes scattered around.

The court heard when the victim looked closely he saw Potham was wearing a pair of his socks on his hands.

The two young girls living in the household were told to stay upstairs and the police were called.

The burglar - later identified as 40-year-old Potham - was woken up by officers when they arrived, saying to them: "I don't understand".

A rucksack belonging to Potham was found on the floor and inside was jewellery, a laptop and chargers, a purse, children's passports, and an empty box which had contained an engagement ring - the ring itself was missing and has never been found.

When Potham was searched a pair of earrings were also found in his trouser pocket.

In his interview Potham said he could not remember much of what happened on the night due to his use of drink and drugs.

He said he could not recall putting the family's property in his rucksack, and had "no idea" why he was wearing a pair of socks on his hand.

In victim impact statements which were read to the court it was heard that the two young girls of the family have been "terrorised" by the experience of having an intruder in their home, were worried he would return, and preferred to sleep at friends' or relatives' houses rather than at their own. The younger child now refuses to go to bed alone.

The girls' mum said her mental health had already been in a "delicate state" before the burglary, and she now feels "overwhelmed" and frightened in her own home.

David Michael Potham, of Lincoln Court, Llanedeyrn, Cardiff, had previously pleaded guilty to burglary when he appeared in the dock for sentencing. He has 56 previous convictions for 142 offences including 12 house burglaries and 11 non-dwelling burglaries.

A prolific burglar

Tom Roberts, representing Potham, said the defendant had relocated to Swansea from Cardiff shortly before the incident in part to make a "fresh start" but had found, in his client's own words, that "there are drugs everywhere".

He said following his move to Swansea Potham had relapsed back into the use of valium but wished to break the cycle of drugs, offending and custody he was involved in, and would accept any help that was available.

Judge Geraint Walters said Potham had forced his way into into his victims' home in the early hours of the morning while under the influence of substances and, contrary to what the defendant had told the police, had known exactly why he had a pair of socks on his hand as he was a prolific burglar.

He said the impact on the victims, especially the children, was clear and given Potham's record of offending it was not a case which fell within the usual sentencing guidelines.

Potham was sentenced to four years in prison. He will serve up to half that period in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.