A CAREER raider who went on a five-house spree on one night has been jailed for four years and eight months.

Burnley Crown Court was told how Gary McKay, 25, was a ‘third strike’ house burglar for the second time.

He had not long been released from a 876-day jail term when he went out thieving overnight on April 23 and 24.

McKay struck while victims were asleep, helping himself to property including cash and jewellery from homes in Barnoldswick.

The defendant, of Bankfield Terrace, Barnoldswick, admitted two charges of burglary and had asked for three burglary offences to be considered.

Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said McKay took money, jewellery and cigarettes from a house on Gisburn Road. The victim had gone to bed at about 10.40pm and next morning he discovered £110 missing from a purse and a carton of cigarettes had gone from a cupboard.

Entry had been gained by a window being smashed.

Mr Parker said the second victim, who lived on Richmond Road, found her iPhone missing and the back door open.

The defendant was given his first ‘three strike’ custodial sentence in January 2013 and was still subject to the unexpired portion when he went out house breaking again.

Sentencing, Judge Simon Newell said he was imposing a seven-year sentence, with one-third credit for a guilty plea.

The judge said the defendant would have been released in about February or March and his behaviour was very worrying for the court and the community in Barnoldswick.

Judge Newell told McKay: “It’s a chance as to who may be in when you break in a house at night. There is every chance that it could be somebody aged, or infirm or vulnerable, but you, as a burglar, take that chance.”

Judge Newell said ordinary, decent people could be left traumatised for week, months and years when their homes had been targeted.

He said: “There are not just financial consequences, but very serious physical consequences. It’s something that burglars don’t seem to take on board. The damage and devastation lives on long after sentence has been passed.”