A PROLIFIC burglar who raided 15 homes in two months has been jailed for five years.
Rhys Richardson-Jones carried out the burglaries in Stamford over a two-month period, often burgling homes while the occupants lay asleep in bed.
One of his victims was so badly affected she was forced to move from the home she had lived in for 10 years.
Richardson-Jones, 31, of Foundry Road, Stamford, admitted two burglaries carried out on November 11 and 25 and asked for a further 13 similar offences to be considered.
The court heard he had five previous convictions for burglary.
He was sentenced to five years in prison at Lincoln Crown Court yesterday.
Judge Michael Heath told him: “Burglary has been a way of life for you. For years you have preyed on people’s homes to feed your drug addiction. The only sentence I can pass on you is a custodial sentence of some length.”
Jonathon Dee, prosecuting, said Richardson-Jones broke into a home in Northumberland Avenue, Stamford, on November 11 while the householder was away for the night.
She returned the following morning to discover her windows wide open and her possessions gone.
Mr Dee said: “Items had been moved. It was clear that the burglar had been through the entire house including her bedroom.
“It took a while before she realised that a laptop containing coursework was missing. An envelope containing money had also gone.
“She was extremely upset. She had lived in the house for 10 years but could not face living there any more and has since moved.”
On November 25, Richardson-Jones was found inside a property in Empingham Road, Stamford, by the occupier.
Mr Dee said “The occupier became aware there was something amiss. He went upstairs and saw a pair of shoes sticking out from under his bed.
“He thought it was one of his housemates playing a joke. He got a shock when the defendant emerged and pushed passed him on his way out of the house.
Police were called and Richardson-Jones was arrested nearby.
Although he made no comment in interview he later confessed to a number of burglaries in Stamford including properties in Oak Road, Empingham Road, Lambeth Walk, Warren Keep, Roman Bank, West End Villas and Mallard Court.
Errol Ballentyne, defending, said Richardson-Jones had since expressed his remorse and shame for what he did.
“He wants to try his hardest to put this type of offence behind him. He is thoroughly ashamed.”
Mr Ballentyne said since his last prison sentence Richardson-Jones had formed a new relationship with a woman and found work but his life fell apart after he both he and his partner lost their jobs.
Speaking after the hearing DC Richard Nethercott welcomed the sentence.
He said: “This is an excellent result and sends a strong message to offenders that crime does not pay.”