A ‘DYED-in-the-wool burglar and drug addict’ was told he will continue to be sent to prison unless he changes his life as he was jailed for a string of crimes.

In a matter of days, serial offender Paul Rogers, from Bolton, burgled the homes of a pensioner and family to feed his drug habit, traumatising an elderly woman and young child in the process.

The 52-year-old also tried and failed to steal a family’s Mercedes car worth £10,000, and made off with £31.50-worth of diesel from a garage without paying.

At the time he had been serving suspended sentences for burglary and shoplifting.

Sentencing Rogers to over two years in prison, Judge Bernadette Baxter described him as an offender with a “bad record” who was in a “very familiar situation”.

His own defence barrister admitted ‘prison is the best place for Rogers’ to protect society and tackle his addiction.

Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard how on May 3, 2020, 87-year-old Jean Everage had been chatting to neighbours and pottering in the garden of her home in Countess Lane, Radcliffe, when she needed to go to the lavatory.

A few moments before Rogers had sneaked into her house and was still inside when Ms Everage entered.

He then snatched £180 in birthday money from her handbag and fled.

Judge Baxter described the burglary as an act of “meanness to the core”, of which Rogers “should be ashamed”.

Kate Gaskell, prosecuting, further revealed to the court how CCTV footage had been captured of Rogers entering the pensioner’s home and then crouching down to hide before walking off.

In a victim impact statement, Ms Everage, who had been a victim of burglary before, said the incident had left her struggling with night terrors, anxiety and sleepless nights.

She added that she felt as though Rogers had “violated” her personal rights, saying: “Every time I hear something at night it puts me on edge.

“To think that a man was inside my property when I went to the toilet frightens me.”

Two days after his attack on Ms Everage, Rogers struck again, this time targeting a family home in Brandlesholme Road, Bury.

At the time the house was occupied by an Andrew McCall and his son, aged around six-years-old.

In a bungled burglary committed at about 4pm, Rogers forced his way into the house through the back door and swiped the keys to the family’s Mercedes.

He then tried to steal the car, which was estimated to be worth around £10,000. CCTV footage revealed the offender sitting in the vehicle outside their home, with the windscreen wipers accidentally turned on, but unable to start the car, Miss Gaskell told the court.

Rogers then abandoned his attempt to take the Mercedes and tried to cover his tracks by returning the keys.

However he put the wrong key in the wrong door in the process, alerting Mr McCall’s son who had been watching TV, before making off in his own car, the court heard.

Judge Baxter said the offences had had a “profound effect” on the young boy, who had called his father after hearing the door go.

Mr McCall had then come down to investigate, believing the sound had possibly been a delivery man, only to discover what had happened.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr McCall said that the incident had left his family feeling vulnerable and nervous in their home.

“We find ourselves checking for every little noise during the night resulting in broken sleep,” Mr McCall said.

He added that his son was “shaken and nervous” to such an extent that he was even frightened of the locksmith who came to fix the door.

In another offence, on May 9, Rogers made off with £31.50-worth of diesel which he had put in his car at a petrol station in Hindley, the court heard.

Rogers, of Drayton Close, Halliwell, admitted two charges of burglary and one of attempted theft.

Peter Horgan, defending, said Rogers was remorseful and wished to apologise to the victims of his crimes. He added Rogers had “largely managed to refrain” from substance misuse and crime in recent years.

He said the death of his mother, close friend and daughter’s boyfriend in a short space of time had led him to begin taking drugs again and return to offending.

“Prison is probably the best place for him, and for society, so he can rid himself of drug abuse and not return to this offending once again,” Mr Horgan said.

Rogers was sentenced to 876 days in prison for the burglaries and attempted theft.

He was also jailed for eight months for breaching suspended sentences for a house burglary in 2018 and shoplifting in 2019, to be served concurrently.

Addressing Rogers, Judge Baxter said: “You are a dyed-in-the-wool burglar and you are a dyed-in-the-wool drug addict.And until you get your drug use under control you will continue to break the law.”

“Whether you change your life is a matter for you. But if you do not you will continue to go to prison,” she added.