A prolific burglar who smashed his way into a doctor’s surgery and a pub to help feed his drug addiction has been jailed.
Matthew Weller ransacked the Rhyddings Surgery in Oswaldtwistle in November 2016 and stole ‘very valuable’ prescription pads, stamps and loose change. He was caught by police after leaving blood on a broken window at the surgery
The 35-year-old also ransacked the Nags Head pub in Accrington and the connecting flat above on Christmas Eve last year and made off with cash and bottles of alcohol.
Weller pleaded guilty at Burnley Crown Court to three counts of burglary and was jailed for a total of 38 months.
Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, said Weller broke into The Nags Head at around 2am on December 24 through a side window.
The court heard how the occupant in the connecting flat above the pub heard noises downstairs and went to investigate but couldn’t see anything.
He then went back to sleep on the couch and discovered the burglaries in the morning.
Mr Brookwell said he stole cash and a watch from the flat and more money and alcohol from the bar.
He said: “He appears to have gone backwards and forwards from the property making several visits in order to take the property away.”
The prosecutor told the court this is the second time Weller, of no fixed abode, will be classed as a ‘third strike’ house burglar following previous dwelling convictions in 2001, 2011 and 2014.
Darren Lee-Smith, defending, said: “The defendant appreciates there will be only one sentence today.
“The only mitigation is his timely guilty pleas. He has made no cheap attempt to minimise the position. When he was released from his last custodial sentence he was without accommodation and without a current methadone prescription.
“He accepts he continued to commit acquisitive offences to fund that addiction and understood he would be arrested and had no concerns being return to custody.
“He understands because of his age he’s got to the point where he must address his issues or he will spend longer and longer in custody.”
Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt said: “You targeted a doctor’s surgery and stole something that is very valuable in the wrong hands, and those are prescription pads and that can’t be ignored.”