A serial burglar broke into a woman's home while she was asleep in bed with her six-month-old baby. Michael Balmont, 35, has 45 previous convictions, the majority of which involve theft and burglaries, dating back to 2008.
She searched the premises and noticed a rear window had been "jimmied" open. The woman discovered a Peregrine baby bag, a wallet, a passport, and a mobile phone had been taken.The police were called and a grease stain was found. An examination of the stain led to the discovery of Balmont's DNA.
He was arrested and denied burglary but was found guilty by a jury following a trial.
In his sentencing remarks, Recorder Simon Hughes said the defendant had "given no explanation" as to why his DNA had been found in the flat.Balmont, of Cherrydale Road, Ely, also claimed police had planted his DNA.
The judge said: "You sought to avoid the lengthy custodial term you knew was inevitable if convicted."Prosecutor Sol Hartley said this was Balmont's sixth conviction for burglary.
In mitigation, David Singh conceded his client had an "unenviable antecedent record" he referred to the defendant's "difficult upbringing", and his diagnosis of ADHD, and said he had spent time in local authority care.Balmont was sentenced to three years and six months imprisonment. He will serve half the sentence in custody before he is released to serve the remainder on licence.
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