Man who violently attacked a woman in Leicester caught from DNA on nail clippings

A man who violently attacked a woman in her 60’s during a burglary at a property in Knighton has been jailed.

David Devlin, 26, was sentenced to a total of 22 years in jail after DNA from fingernail clippings linked him to the scene of the crime.

Devlin was among a group of three masked men in balaclavas who broke into the property on Yardley Drive.

The victim was subjected to a horrific attack in which she was punched, thrown to the ground and had her arm broken. She also had cleaning products thrown in her eyes and hands. Her fingernails were also clipped by one of the men as he feared she had scratched him when she tried to pull his balaclava off.

The men ransacked the house before fleeing the scene with gold jewellery and cash.

The woman was taken to hospital for treatment where she underwent surgery for her injuries.

Crime scene investigators were called and searched the property for clues.

During the search, officers recovered the fingernail clippings and sent them off for DNA analysis. This led to a partial DNA match with Devlin.

The 26-year-old had absconded from custody at HMP Sudbury where he was serving a custodial sentence for burglary. He was arrested and charged.

Devlin pleaded guilty at Leicester Crown Court to two counts of robbery, one count of causing grievous bodily harm and two counts of handling stolen goods. He had previously pleaded guilty to absconding from lawful custody.

Devlin was also convicted of another robbery at a property in Timble Road in Leicester on 11 March this year.

A mother and her children were at the address when three men broke in making threats including placing their hands over the mouths of the mother and one of her children, threatening the mother with a screwdriver.

Cash was demanded from the family and thousands of pounds worth of jewellery was stolen as well as a camera.

Following the sentencing, Detective Inspector Gareth Goddard said: “Devlin’s crimes are truly shocking. People were attacked and left terrified in their own homes because of the actions of Devlin along with others.”

“We do want to thank the victims in these cases for their bravery and co-operation following truly terrifying times which has led to this conviction. We assure them and the community that we continue to work tirelessly to identify all the people responsible for these offences and to bring them too before the courts.”