POLICE have released the mugshot of a ‘blatant liar’ who broke in to a vulnerable person’s home and stole £350 in cash and two Swansea City season tickets and then tried to pin the theft on an innocent man.

Alexander Gooding initially told police that his fingerprints were at the scene as he had closed an open window out of concern for the occupant, before he then attempted to blame someone else in his police interview for the burglary.

Judge Huw Rees said the court had given Gooding “opportunity after opportunity” as he sentenced him to 18 months in prison.

Prosecutor Sian Cutter told Swansea Crown Court that Gooding’s 51-year-old victim had been shielding at his Pembroke Dock flat during the coronavirus pandemic.

On the evening of February 21, 2022, he left a living room window “slightly open” as he went to bed to improve the air flow to help with his breathing.

Ms Cutter said the victim woke up during the night and noticed a light was on. He didn’t think anything of it, but in the morning discovered tobacco was missing, as well as a tobacco tin, a wallet containing £350, two season tickets for Swansea City and a bank card.

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The police found prints on the windowsill, one of which matched the defendant’s right palm. Footprints at the scene were also analysed and compared to the defendant’s trainers.

Gooding, of Deer Park View in Stackpole, was arrested in Pembroke Dock on February 24, 2022. His home address was searched and the tobacco tin was found.

“He claimed he’d never been in the flat,” Ms Cutter said.

“He said there was an occasion in the past he had walked past, seen the window open, and closed it out of concern for the occupant.”

However, it was pointed out to him that his prints were found on the inside of the windowsill.

Western Telegraph: Alexander Gooding has been jailed for 18 months.Alexander Gooding has been jailed for 18 months. (Image: Dyfed-Powys Police)

Gooding told the police that he hadn’t been in the property, but had walked past it with another person – who was wearing his trainers at the time.

“He said the person he was with gave him the tobacco tin,” Ms Cutter said.

Officers tracked down the other person, who was known to the police, and he confirmed this was not true.

Gooding, who had four previous convictions for 14 offences, admitted an offence of burglary at Swansea Crown Court in January.

The defendant had been interviewed a second time last February, and Ms Cutter said there had been a delay in receiving forensic evidence and in tracking down the person who Gooding had attempted to shift the blame on to.

The incident, she said, had left the victim “feeling very unsafe” in his own home.

Jon Tarrant, in mitigation, said: “During the probation interview there was a clear admission of remorse.”

Mr Tarrant said that 31-year-old Gooding had been released from prison in September, and since then had showed “his determination to address his addiction issues”.

He said that the defendant acknowledged the impact his actions would have had on the victim.

Sentencing Gooding, Judge Rees said: “This happened during a period of your life when you had as your primary concern the acquisition of drugs.

“You candidly describe yourself as a blatant liar at this point. You even pointed the finger at an innocent man.

“The court has given you opportunity after opportunity.

“It is unrealistic to say, in my opinion, that you have a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.”