A prolific house burglar who struck again three weeks after being released from prison has been jailed.
Daniel Dwyer, 31, sneaked into a family home on Meadow Street in Accrington through an unlocked kitchen door as the owner was getting her children ready upstairs.
Burnley Crown Court heard how she came downstairs about 30 minutes later and found her mobile phone left charging in the kitchen had gone. Other items had also been stolen including bank cards, a national insurance card, driving licence, two more mobile phones and a Nintendo DS games console.
The court heard how the her mother-in-law was sleeping in the next room.
Dwyer, who had committed three previous house burglaries, pleaded guilty to burglary and was jailed for 32 months.
Stephen Parker, prosecuting, told the court how the incident happened at around 8.15am on August 25 last year. Dwyer, formerly of Aitken Street and who has 34 convictions for 70 previous offences, was later identified from CCTV and arrested a week later.
Mr Parker told the court how officers found him sat in an alleyway floor with one of the phones.
When interviewed by police he accepted he was the man on the CCTV but denied the burglary.
The court heard how he claimed to have received the phone from a friend after being released from prison but Mr Parker said the dates did not match up. The court heard how Dwyer had only been released from prison on August 2 and told police he was homeless and had been ‘staying in the area’.
Darren Lee-Smith, defending, said it was an ‘opportunistic offence’.
He said: “He had recently been released from custody and at the time he had no family support and was not in receipt of benefits. Simply out of desperation he sought items to sell for cash to support his living arrangements.
“There is no pre-sentence report because the defendant appreciates there can only be one sentence in this case. He pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and has written letters addressed to the victims. He has expressed a wish that he would like to meet with the victims if possible to apologise personally and express remorse for his actions.
“Thankfully on this occasion there was no forced entry, no evidence of confrontation or violence or use of a weapon.”