A top burglary detective has been honoured with a rare award by a court recorder for his dedication in bringing a violent professional criminal to justice.

Detective Inspector Dan O’Sullivan of Merton CID was highly praised for his work leading to the imprisonment of Morden man Dean Andrew Gray, who was jailed for five years for burglary and conspiracy to burgle.

D Insp O’Sullivan is the man leading the investigation into the violent burglary in Kings Road, Wimbledon, which left father-of-four Paul Kohler with life changing injuries.

Recorder Jeremy Carter-Manning QC praised D Insp O’Sullivan’s professionalism and dedication.

During the course of the year-and-a-half-long investigation into three suspects, Timothy Whewell, of Reigate Road, Sutton, Kevin Callow, of Westmead Road, Sutton and Gray, of Middleton Road, Morden, police monitored their whereabouts and tracked them across Surrey and London.

Whewell, 25, and Callow, 34, admitted one count of burglary, with 80 offences and 50 offences being taken into account respectively. Both were jailed for four years.

Gray denied the charges and a trial was held at Kingston Crown Court in December last year, presided over by Recorder Carter-Manning.

Recorder Carter-Manning said: "At the conclusion of proceedings I felt it to be appropriate to commend D Ins O’Sullivan for the thoroughly professional investigation he conducted which ultimately culminated in the conviction of a professional criminal."

Officers from the Metropolitan Police and Surrey Police worked together to secure the conviction of Gray, 34, who is now serving his prison sentence.

Although commendations are rare, D Ins O’Sullivan has received three in his career.

Talking about the suspect who was brought to justice, he said: "Gray was seen as the ring-leader, "We believe the others were scared of him because of his convictions and he was on life licence for manslaughter."

He said most burglaries, 60 or 70 per cent, are committed by people who live outside of the borough and travel in.

D Insp O’Sullivan has been in the force for 20 years, starting as a police constable then moving into CID after two years.

He moved to Merton two years ago and is now based in Wimbledon police station in Queens Road. He is due to receive the commendation at a ceremony soon.