A CAREER criminal with a drug habit has been jailed for four years after breaking into six South Yorkshire homes and stealing around £13,000 of personal items.
John Taylor – who has 61 previous convictions, mostly for dishonesty – ransacked bedrooms and stole property of sentimental value including a £6,500 engagement ring, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
One burglary victim told police: “I feel sick that someone has been inside my house. I just want to clean it from top to bottom.”
Taylor, of Victoria Street, Stairfoot, Barnsley, targeted homes in a three-week period in February and March this year while occupants were out or on holiday, said Louise Gallagher, prosecuting.
He forced the patio door of a house in Heathfields and stole £675 of property, including a laptop, mobile phone, two watches, digital camera, silver make-up box and gold bracelet.
A week later at Hopewell Street he broke into a house and took £10,285 of property, including an engagement ring.
Taylor then twice burgled premises at Old Oaks View and stole £2,000 of property, including jewellery of sentimental value.
He admitted the four burglaries and asked for another two to be considered.
Taylor was convicted of house burglaries in 2003 and 2004.
Sam Andrews, defending, said after keeping out of trouble for nearly seven years he was under pressure from his landlord to pay rent arrears.
Judge Alan Goldsack told Taylor: “The only aggravating feature that is absent is that the homes were not occupied at the time. These are high-value burglaries involving many thousands of pounds’ worth of property.
“Your victims were left feeling devastated and dirty that people had been in their homes while they were out.”