A COVENTRY mum had an extra person on the photo she took of her children as they were going out – the burglar who was to break into their home after watching them leave, a court heard.
The picture on her mobile phone also helped the police to identify the man in the distinctive baseball cap as regular offender John Hogan.
After pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court Hogan, 40, of Wexford Road, Wood End, Coventry, was jailed for 12 months for the burglary.
Prosecutor Antonie Muller said as a mother went out with her two children and their child minder on July 6, she took a photo of them on her mobile phone before getting in the car.
When they returned to their home in Haseley Road, in Wood End, they found someone had broken the rear patio door to break into the house.
A brand-new expensive large-screen television had been moved but left behind, but a handbag and its contents had been stolen.
The police were contacted and it turned out that in the background of the photo she had taken of her children was a man wearing a distinctive baseball cap standing with a mountain bike.
Officers recognised the man as Hogan, who Mr Muller said had a large number of previous convictions including 47 offences of theft, mainly from shops and from cars.
Graham Russell, defending, said Hogan’s offending had begun to tail off following his release from a two-year sentence for robbery in 2011.
“Drugs have bedevilled his life in the past, but on his release he made a voluntary referral to agencies to help him, he was in a relationship and he got a home,” he added.
But the relationship dissolved and she moved out of the area, as a result Hogan could no longer see his children.
“There was a lapse into the use of crack cocaine, and he went into this street looking for somewhere to burgle,” Mr Russell said.
“But he is insistent it was only a lapse. He had managed to go the best part of three-and-a-half years without offending in this fashion.”