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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 June, 2005, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
Vandal caught by his footprints
A bungling vandal who left footprints in the snow leading from a shop window he smashed to his front door has been given a conditional discharge.

Police dogs led officers to William Devall, 18, by following the footprints to his home in Hailsham, East Sussex.

He admitted criminal damage at Eastbourne Magistrates Court in May.

Devall, of Meadow Road, was on Thursday given a 12 month conditional discharge, meaning he could face jail if convicted of any other crimes in the next year.

Incriminating trail

The court heard two alarms were activated on the Apex Industrial Estate in Hailsham shortly before midnight on 22 February this year.

Police arrived at the scene to find a window smashed in one building while a concrete block had been thrown through the front door of a nearby pet shop.

Officers noticed footprints in the snow and used a trained police dog to follow the incriminating trail, which led to Devall's family house in Meadow Road.

When challenged by police, Devall admitted breaking two windows and was arrested.

Magistrates gave Devall a conditional discharge for two counts of criminal damage and one of breaching a community rehabilitation order.

He was also sentenced to one day's detention for failing to pay fines.

Footprints lead police to vandal
25 May 05 |  Southern Counties

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