A BURGLAR was handed a four-year jail term for a summer crime spree where he stole more than £8,000 from Frodsham neighbours to fund his drug habit.
Mark Terence Shaw, 39, of Hayes Crescent, Frodsham, burgled eight houses in Frodsham between July and October to fund his heroin and crack cocaine addiction.
The serial thief would remove windows before carrying out a thorough search of the rooms, taking anything from tobacco and small change to thousands of pounds, jewellery and a laptop computer.
He was arrested in September after stealing travellers cheques, five rings and £4,500 cash from a house on Main Street, when he left his screwdriver which he used to break in at the scene.
Paul Smith, prosecuting, said: “The victim, who lives on Main Street with her daughter, left her home at about 9am on Tuesday, September 23, after securing it and leaving £4,500 cash, which was a gift.
“She returned home at about 1.20pm and after about an hour she realised an entire pain of glass had been removed from the bathroom.
“A screwdriver which was left at the scene was swabbed and DNA was found which matched the defendant’s.”
Shaw, who has 14 convictions for burglary, appeared at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday where he pleaded guilty to burglary and asked for seven other Frodsham offences to be taken into consideration when he was being sentenced.
Fraser Lindsay, defending, said: “This defendant has held up his hands and displayed empathy to his victim, he has shown a remorseful and frank approach. This is a man who has a heroin and crack cocaine addiction for almost 20 years and commits crime to fund that addiction.”
Judge Roger Dutton said: “You have been a house burglar for many years. You see houses as easy money to fund your drug addiction. I am very conscious of the upset caused by a burglary when the loss is not just money but valuable items that have a sentimental value.”