A sickly housebreaker was snared through the serial number of a crutch left at one of the homes he raided in Fife’s East Neuk.
HMP Perth inmate Mark Kilgallon broke into a house in James Street in Pittenweem and helped himself to a laptop and a tablet.
When the resident woke up at 8am the next morning, she discovered she had been robbed but found a crutch lying in her home.
Police investigating the thefts matched the serial number of the crutch to its partner, found at Kilgallon’s home.
He appeared by video link at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court to admit a total of six offences during the 20-day crime spree.
His solicitor, Elizabeth Dryburgh, said her client suffered from a liver disorder and was waiting to see if he required heart surgery.
Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane said: “Whatever was wrong with him didn’t stop him breaking into these people’s houses, ransacking them and stealing their property.”
She jailed Kilgallon, 37, for 22 months.
Series of break-ins
On July 30, four days after leaving the crutch, he broke into another house on nearby Viewforth Place and stole a wallet full of cash.
It’s owner got up at 4am to make himself a cup of tea and noticed there had been an intruder.
His back door was ajar and a garden chair was tilted up against a window.
On August 5, Kilgallon broke into a property in Elie’s Woodside Road and stole Acer and MacBook laptops, chargers and an iPad.
The holiday home was being rented out to guests at the time.
Kilgallon used a rock to smash a window and open a lock before helping himself to the electronics, worth £1,350.
At some point between August 10 and 12, he broke into another house, this time in Crescent Road in Lundin Links, where he stole £1,000 worth of jewellery, a laptop and a charger.
The house was empty at the time as the owners had been visiting family.
Amongst the distinctive jewellery he pilfered was a pearl necklace and when he tried to fence the plundered jewellery, a buyer gave him £40 and took photographs of the items straight to police.
On August 15, he returned to Lundin Links to raid a holiday home being rented on Emsdorf Street, taking a laptop and a number of watches.
His DNA was found on a rock he used to force entry.
Kilgallon’s final attempt was back at Crescent Road, where he was caught.
He admitted it was reasonable to assume he was there to steal.
Previous convictions in England
Ms Dryburgh explained her client had analogous convictions from England.
In December 2016, Kilgallon “starred” in a Northumbria Police crime campaign.
He was one of ten people the force targeted – and the first they caught – as their Christmas top ten most wanted list.
In April 2020 he was jailed for smashing his way into a pub in Newcastle city centre, as its owner watched on CCTV.