A 31-year-old burglar who was caught through DNA on a cigarette butt and torch after he ransacked a farmhouse near Dursley has been jailed for 16 months.

Alfred Wordsworth of Garnalls Road, Matson, caused £5,000 worth of damage during the raid at Westfield Farm in Coaley in August 2018, Gloucester Crown Court was told yesterday (Nov 29).

Prosecutor Caitlin Evans said Wordsworth entered the isolated farmhouse, which had been left secured, sometime between 24-28 August 2018, but when the owner returned on August 28 he found that the property had been broken into and he called the police.

“Wordsworth was identified by his DNA because he had left a discarded cigarette butt and a head torch at the scene," said Ms Evans.

Among the stolen items was a ceremonial sword dating back to the Second World War, which was owned by the victim’s grandfather and has not been recovered.

In a victim impact statement, the homeowner said: “I’m now very nervous about being in the property on my own. I always question myself about what would have happened had I been at home when he chose to ransack the property.

“I’ve worked hard to own my own home. The value of what was stolen and the cost of repairing the damage amounts to £41, 853."

Joe Maloney, defending, said Wordsworth had an addiction to MDMA. He had put his hands up to the burglary at the earliest point in the court process, the lawyer added.

“Wordsworth had moved away from this area when he gained employment, but he lost this during the pandemic lockdown and moved back.

“Over the past three years he has made big strides to turn his life around. He believes that his life will go in a completely different direction in the future. He has spent a lifetime of making bad choices and during the recent years he has started to make some good choices.”

Wordsworth pleaded guilty to burgling Westfield Farm in Coaley and stealing £36,000 worth of belongings between August 24-28, 2018.

Judge Michael Cullum sentenced Wordsworth to 16 months in prison and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge on release.