A BURGLAR who raided a dead man’s flat was caught when his DNA was found on a cigarette end dropped at the scene.

When Harry Chapman died in January last year his home in Clivedale Place, Bolton was left unoccupied.

Andrea Lock, prosecuting, told Bolton Crown Court how Luke Aldred was among a group of people who realised this and broke into the property just a week later.

“Neighbours reported males removing a television and later the deceased gentleman’s BMW was driven away,” she said.

“When police arrived to check the flat it was in disarray. The door had been forced and among items listed as stolen were the television and keys to the BMW.”

Scenes of crime investigators found a partially smoked John Player cigarette which had Aldred’s DNA on it.

After his arrest 24-year-old Aldred suggested the cigarette could have been left there by someone else.

He eventually pleaded guilty to burglary and the court heard that he already has 32 previous convictions, mainly for dishonesty.

Nicholas Ross, defending Aldred, of Blackledge Street, Bolton, said the drug addict only has a “limited and vague recollection” of the burglary.

He added that Aldred spent a lot of his spare time at another flat, used as a drugs den, in Cliveden Place.

“Once aware of the vacant and insecure premises of the unfortunate deceased victim he, among others, entered,” said Mr Ross.

“He wishes it to be known that he had absolutely no association with the removal of the BMW.”

Jailing Aldred for 20 months, the Honorary recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh described the burglary as a “mean offence”.