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JOYRIDER CHARGED: Saliva evidence leads to man’s arrest

JOYRIDER CHARGED: Saliva evidence leads to man’s arrest

Image from Northumbria Police.

The smallest drop of saliva in a stolen car was enough to bring a reckless joyrider to an abrupt halt as he was arrested and charged.

David McCully sneaked into a West Boldon home in the dead of night and swiped the keys to a Vauxhall Insignia that was parked outside. But the brazen 28-year-old – who had no licence or insurance – crashed the car less than two miles away on Cranleigh Road in Sunderland.

When officers arrived at the scene and found the damaged car with no occupants present, an investigation was launched – and it soon transpired that it had been stolen and the driver had made off. The car was seized and studied by the Force’s forensic experts who found the tiniest drop of saliva on the air bag that had been deployed as a result of the crash.

That came back as a match to McCully, who was subsequently arrested and charged in connection with the break-in. McCully, of Ribble Road, Sunderland, initially admitted he was the driver when the car crashed but denied he was responsible for the burglary.

However, with the weight of evidence against him overwhelming, he pleaded guilty to burglary, aggravated vehicle taking, driving without a licence and no insurance when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court last month. He is due to be sentenced at the same court in May.

Detective Sergeant Chris Raper-Smith, of Northumbria Police, said: “This once again highlighted how the advancement in technology and forensics help us every single day in catching criminals and detecting crime. In this case, the tiniest drop of saliva was found on the air bag of a stolen car and this conviction is the result of some truly outstanding work by our forensic experts.

“There is absolutely no place for this type of offending. We know burglary is an intrusive crime and I would like to thank the victim in this case for their cooperation throughout. I hope they can take some comfort in knowing the man responsible has been convicted at court. He now faces a likely prison sentence when he is sentenced next month.

“We will continue to work every single day to put burglars before the courts and ensure those who bring nothing but misery to our communities are dealt with swiftly and robustly.”

In interview, McCully denied that he had entered the victim’s home and stolen the keys but confessed to being behind the wheel at the time of the collision. But police and prosecutors rejected that claim and were able to pull together a compelling case that proved McCully’s involvement in the burglary that occurred on September 16 last year.

He admitted all offences when appearing at Newcastle Crown Court on March 19. He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at the same court on May 17.

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