JURORS took little more than an hour to find a man not guilty of burglary.

Prosecutors alleged Shohidur Rahman, 42, was one of two men who broke into a garage behind a house in Bright Street, Gorse Hill, in June last year.

But he always denied the claims – even telling the police officer who arrested him a month after the break-in it was rubbish.

Speaking to Rahman after thanking the jury for their attention, Judge Jason Taylor QC told him: “That’s the end of the matter as far as you are concerned.”

The defendant, who was on remand during the trial, will remain behind bars until the end of the year. He is part-way into a six-month jail sentence imposed in September for breaching a non-molestation order.

Over the short two-day trial, jurors heard from a woman who claimed she saw two men outside the side door of a garage at the end of her elderly parents’ garden at around 1pm on June 21, last year.

She told the court the men were carrying a wheelbarrow.

She said she saw the men from the back door – a distance of at least 18m – but only began to run down the garden path when she realised one of the men was not her nephew, as she had originally believed.

When she reached the lane behind the garage she could see only one man - Rahman. She took a picture of him, which was shown to the jury, and claimed he had run off after she told him she was calling the police.

Her son later told police a £400 Panasonic power drill had been stolen from the garage along with a £40 wheelbarrow, screws and nails worth £40, hand tools worth £200 and a £50 pair of Nike trainers.

A police officer confirmed that forensics officers had not checked for DNA or fingerprints because the specialists concluded there were no forensic opportunities.

Rahman, of Beaumont Road, Walcot, denied involvement in the burglary. He claimed he was using the lane as a shortcut when he saw a man run off with a box then saw a woman emerge from the garden.

He had been in the wrong place at the wrong time, he said.

“The person who’s actually done the crime has run off. He’s got nothing to do with me.

“The police have got nothing, no evidence, not even the proceeds they claim have been stolen – I don’t see that. Is it in my possession? It’s nine tenths of the law and I haven’t got none of it,” he told jurors.

In her closing speech to the jury, Rahman’s barrister Rebecca Da Silva compared the Crown’s case to the Magic Roundabout, with the evidence pointing jurors in a “completely different direction”.

She said the homeowner would have had a limited view of the two burglars and had wrongly identified Rahman as the thief when she found him on the lane.

Ms Da Silva questioned why DNA or fingerprint tests had not been carried out on the garage’s metal doorhandle and why no records had been kept of CCTV checks or house-to-house enquiries.

“The reality is the police didn’t bother because they thought they had their man,” she told jurors.