A carelessly discarded cigarette led to a Fochabers man appearing before a jury at Inverness Sheriff Court where he was found guilty of breaking into the home of a 75-year-old.
The court heard that Colin Reid, 31, of Burnbank in Fochabers had left his cigarette end behind after breaking into the home on the banks of Loch Ness. The householder later noticed the cigarette end on the floor of his home and handed it over to police.
DNA recovered from the cigarette was found to match Reid – who tried to claim in court that the cigarette could have been carried into the house on someone’s shoe.
Self-employed gardener Reid admitted having previous convictions including nine that involved housebreaking and dishonesty. The court was told that he had used a rock to smash glass on the conservatory door of the home before stealing jewellery on March 31, 2013.
Forensic officers had not managed to produce evidence that Reid had been in the house – however, the tests on the cigarette found DNA from saliva. The jury took 45 minutes to reach a majority guilty verdict on Reid, who had earlier claimed he had been in Skye at the time of the offence but later changed his story, saying he had been in Drumnadrochit delivering flyers in his search for work.
Reid will be sentenced next month by which time a background report will have been prepared.