A BURGLAR who committed his first offence 30 years ago has been jailed after being caught trying to escape from a house he broke into.

Paul Taylor, 45, targeted an empty house on Briksdal Way in Lostock in October this year.

He had also broken into Breightmet Off Licence six months earlier, Bolton Crown Court heard.

Simon Blakebrough, prosecuting, told the court Taylor entered the large five bedroom house in the early hours of October 8 while the owners were on holiday in Greece.

He snapped a lock on a rear patio door and ripped an alarm box off the wall before emptying cupboards and drawers onto a bed upstairs.

Mr Blakeboruogh said a security alarm going off alerted police officers who arrived and chased Taylor, who was caught nearby while trying to climb over a garden fence.

He dropped a number of stolen items as well as a bag containing a bag of tools, the court heard, and was wearing dark clothes, gloves and carrying a torch.

Although all the items, including jewellery, were recovered, Mr Blakebrough said Taylor caused damage to the premises which cost around £1,250 to eventually repair.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the householder said “no one has the right to break into my property” before adding it was the second time in six months her house had been targeted.

Mr Blakebrough said that on April 28, police officers responded to a report from a member of the public that Breightmet Off Licence was being broken into.

A locked roller shutter was damaged, as well as CCTV, and a cash till, with Taylor fleeing with cigarettes and tobacco worth around £6,000 and £1,250 in cash.

Police gave chase but Taylor was able to escape after dropping the stolen items.

Blood was found on the cigarette kiosk and Taylor’s DNA was matched following his arrest for the house burglary.

In a victim impact statement the shopkeeper said he was now “anxious and scared” while in his shop and was “wary” of customers.

Mr Blakebrough said Taylor, of Hargreaves House, Bolton, had been burgling houses for 30 years with offences dating back to 1990 and had 26 previous convictions for 53 offences.

Neil Ronan, defending, said Taylor, who appeared via videolink from HMP Forest Bank, had started using crack cocaine following the breakdown of a long-term relationship but had used his time in prison to get clean.

Mr Ronan said: “When one is a crack addict one is something of a social pariah but now he is someone his friends can put some stock in.”

Recorder Michael Taylor sentenced Taylor, who pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary, to a total of 36 months in prison.