A burglar was caught red-handed with his loot at a Rotherham town centre community project he raided, a court heard.
Barry Plant, aged 32, struck at the Lighthouse Project in Westgate, which is a charity for vulnerable adult males including alcoholics and drug users, but was spotted by staff coming down a set of stairs carrying a black sack.
When challenged he said he was looking for someone who owed him money.
It was later found that he had burgled the flat of Andrew Greenhough and stolen electrical goods, a games console, DVD player and a set of golf clubs.
In interviews Plant, of Henry Court in the town centre, told police he was looking for property stolen from him and had gone to the Lighthouse Project in a bid to recover it.
The court was told he has previous convictions for burglary and theft.
He was jailed for 42 months in 2003 for burglary, another 42 months in 2005 for burglary and theft, and 15 months in 2008 for an attempted break-in.
Plant was jailed for four weeks by Rotherham magistrates earlier this year for two shoplifting offences.
He admitted burglary at the Lighthouse Project on May 14 and was jailed for 876 days.
Sentencing him, Recorder Nicholas Campbell QC said: “I understand some of the difficulties he has experienced and the struggles he has undergone to keep himself out of trouble.”
The judge said he was giving him maximum credit for the contents of an ‘eloquent’ letter Plant had written, but said his hands were tied by the law because of Plant’s previous convictions.
“I’m persuaded you are trying to mend your ways and give you full discount,” said the Recorder.