ONE of Burnley’s most prolific burglars has been jailed for three years after owning up to 85 offences.

Burnley Crown Court heard how James Disley, 44, who had raided and ‘trashed’ a home in the town whilst on licence from prison, came clean about that and dozens of other offences to detectives after they went to see him in custody.

The hearing was told Disley was a ‘three strike’ burglar, facing a minimum three years behind bars, with a reduction for a guilty plea.

On his latest crime spree, he carried out 35 break-ins and left a near £50,000 trail of theft and damage.

The defendant, of Harold Avenue, Burnley, had admitted burglary at a property on Sunderland Street, Rosegrove, on April 4 and asked for 85 off-ences to be considered.

He was jailed for 30 months.

David Macro, prosecuting, said on March 15, 2010, Disley was sent to prison for 30 months for house burglary.

Since then, he had been released on licence twice and recalled twice, after breaking his conditions.

On March 21 this year, police visited him as part of Operation Clean Slate and he was asked to come clean about any outstanding offences.

He said he was keen to participate, was produced from Forest Bank prison on March 28 and told police about the house burglary.

Mr Macro said on a subsequent production from custody, he told police about the 85 other offences he had committed – including 34 burglaries, where he took metal or flags from empty properties, 21 thefts from vehicles, 28 other thefts and a criminal damage.

He said had a lengthy record, going back to 1978 and had three previous convictions for house burglary.

Richard Taylor, for Disley, said drugs had dominated and ruined his life. The solicitor said: “He tells me he was eight years old when he first started using drugs.”

Sentencing, Recorder Roderick Carus, QC, told Disley: “The fact you had the nerve to commit yet more offences while on licence is an aggravating feature.

But, on the other hand, all these matters came to light because you decided to confess to them.”

After the hearing, DC Mark Whitehead said Disley expressed a desire to be involved in Operation Clean Slate, indicating he wanted a sentence of three years for his outstanding offences.

He said: “We were happy to oblige once the level of his offending became apparent and this will also serve to protect the people of East Lancashire from a prolific offender."