A CAREER crook who raided a couple's Burnley home as they slept and withdrew almost £1,000 with their credit card has been jailed for 32 months.

The town's crown court heard how, when drug addict Leigh Halford, 42, was being hunted by police after the break-in on Briercliffe Road, they trawled through CCTV of the area and caught him on film trying to burgle the Commercial Inn.

Halford, a prolific criminal with dozens of convictions for burglary also helped himself to about £25 from a visitors' donation box after targeting the museum at Skipton Town Hall in January. The defendant was thieving to fund his ‘raging’ habit.

The hearing was told Halford had been breaking the law since he was 13, had never had a job and had abused drink as well as drugs.

He had attacked premises many times’and graduated to invading people's homes in 2004. Halford was a ‘three strike’ burglar facing a minimum of three years jail, minus ‘credit’ for pleading guilty.

Nine years ago, Halford was slammed as a danger to the elderly by a judge after he targeted pensioners' homes and sheltered accommodation. He also struck at a Burnley church and was jailed for more than three years.

Halford previously lived at Colville Street, Burnley, but was said to have been living rough when he went on his latest spree.

He admitted two counts of burglary, attempted burglary and three counts of theft.

Jeremy Lasker, prosecuting, said the Briercliffe Road victims got up to find a purse and a diary with a PIN number in it missing. Halford withdrew £900.

Mark Stuart, for Halford, said he was on a reducing methadone programme. His depression and drugs had become more serious after his partner passed away.