A burglar from Telford who broke into a number of homes, stealing expensive jewellery, electrical items and cash, has been jailed for three-and-and-half years.
James Rattew, of Stafford Street, St Georges, admitted two charges of burglary and one of handling stolen goods at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
He also asked the judge to take 12 other burglaries into consideration when he was sentenced yesterday.
The first burglary was in Bhylls Lane, Merry Hill, Wolverhampton, on July 19 this year.
The homeowners were in at the time and were alerted to Rattew in the house after hearing wardrobe doors opening and closing. When confronted on the upstairs landing, Rattew managed to run away.
Ms Sati Ruck, prosecuting, told the court the second burglary occurred at a house in Coalway Road, Penn, on July 26. This time the homeowners were out and Rattew broke in through a French door.
“He carried out an untidy search of all the rooms,” Ms Ruck said. “He stole a watch, laptop, wallet and jewellery.”
Rattew, 29, was arrested on the same day after he was spotted by police officers.
Officers searched his home in St Georges and found a number of stolen items.
He told police he had drug debts and that is why he was burgling homes. The value of all the goods found at his home came to about £13,000.
Mr Christopher O’Gorman, defending, told the court Rattew had a long-standing drug habit.
Judge Michael Dudley told Rattew he had a ‘fairly lengthy record of offences for dishonesty’. He added: “There came a time when you could keep out of trouble. When you worked with your father. That job came to an end and you then relapsed into your drug habit and these offences are a result.”