A THIEF with more than 100 crimes to his name said “toodle-oo” as he was taken down to start a six-year prison sentence.
Henry McGrath – who represented himself in court – had denied burglary despite DNA, a footprint, and a travel ticket with his name on being found at the crime scene.
Oxford Crown Court jurors found the 59-year-old unanimously guilty in less than two hours of deliberation yesterday.
And when asked by Judge Ian Pringle if he had anything to say in mitigation before he was sentenced, McGrath said: “Why don’t you just take me out into the courtyard and execute me by firing squad?”
McGrath, of no fixed address, raided Pyrton Heath House near Watlington in January last year – a month after being released from prison for handling stolen goods.
A Toyota, £6,000-worth of garden tools, and a Land Rover car battery were stolen in the break-in at the country estate.
Police found a trace of blood on a window frame matching McGrath’s DNA and an expert said there was a one in a billion chance it did not come from him.
Another expert said a footprint at the scene was likely to have come from size 11 Hush Puppies shoes seized from McGrath when he was arrested in Sandford-on-Thames days later.
McGrath said the DNA could be from one of his two brothers who he claimed borrowed his car at the time of the burglary.
And in his 25-minute closing speech, he told jurors the prosecution had not proved he was guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
But McGrath was found guilty of four burglaries, two thefts, and an attempted theft.
Judge Ian Pringle said McGrath had a “staggering” number of convictions for crimes committed from when he was 12 years old.
The court heard McGrath had 39 convictions and 133 crimes recorded against his name – 77 of which were for theft.
Sentencing, Judge Pringle said: “You have spent almost the entirety of your life committing crime.
“Every time you are released, within a short period of time you commit offences and society is simply not prepared to put up with that.”
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS, SPORT and JAYDEN depending on what services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Our top stories
Oxfordshire ambulance services accused of "playing god" and "putting lives at risk" in new drug trial
9:00am Tuesday 27th January 2015
CARDIAC arrest patients could be given a salt solution instead of adrenaline as part of a new medical trial in Oxfordshire.
7:48pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
THE first phase of the £60 million redevelopment of Oxford University’s Iffley Road sports facilities could be completed by July 2016.
7:30pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
STAFF at a funeral directors said they have been inundated with messages of support after a devastating blaze caused an estimated £100,000 worth of damage.
7:13pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
A PLANNED strike by health workers has been called off less than 48 hours before it was due to start.
4:10pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
Heavy snow is set to hit the county on Thursday morning, according to the Met Office.
2:57pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
THE jury in the Jake Blakeley trial has been sent home for the night.