Builder brings Bridlington burglar ‘to justice’

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A have-a-go-hero turned detective to bring a serial Bridlington burglar to justice - only to be told by the police he had ruined their investigation.

Builder Joseph Ingham, 32, was irate when his uninsured home was ransacked and his two teenage daughters’ treasured notepad computers had been taken. While his wife rang the police, he decided to find out for himself who ran the black market in Bridlington and pay them a visit to get his daughters’ stuff back. Within three-hours he returned with most of the goods while the police were still taking statements.

But instead of being praised, officers told him he could be arrested for threatening witnesses and offering to pay a £20 reward probably jeopardizing a prosecution.

But Mr Ingham was praised by a judge at Hull Crown Court on Friday (Oct 11) as his evidence was vital. He was the key prosecution witness in the three-day trial of Dean Harris, 43, a serial targeted criminal who was sentenced to three and a half years for two burglaries that day.

Judge Michael Mettyear said: “I am sorry to say Mr Ingham has shown other people how to investigate a case. I may not approve of all his behaviour. The police are not able to use his methods, but at least he gave it a go and made all the inquiries. He brought to justice a persistent long-term burglar.”

For a full report see this week’s Free Press out on Thursday 17 October.