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
14 minutes to drive just a mile in Oxford - where are the worst congestion hotspots on our interactive map?
8:30am Thursday 28th May 2015
MOTORISTS travelling into Oxford took a staggering 14 minutes to complete one mile on the Botley Road last year.
8:39am Thursday 28th May 2015
DRIVERS went from despair to delight in 24 hours as the huge traffic delays experienced on Botley Road on Tuesday disappeared yesterday.
8:12am Thursday 28th May 2015
A PROTEST at Didcot Power Station at the weekend will be monitored, police said.
8:08am Thursday 28th May 2015
FAMILY, friends and colleagues gathered at Oxford station to unveil a plaque commemorating a ticket barrier man who died earlier this year.
7:59am Thursday 28th May 2015
THE mother of a man who died in a supported living home has welcomed an inquiry into his death.
7:48am Thursday 28th May 2015
THE future of a West Oxford pub has been thrown into doubt after its proposed licensing hours were reduced.