A PROLIFIC burglar who was described by a judge as a ‘menace to everybody with a house’ has been jailed for 39 months.

Burnley Crown Court heard how heroin addict Martin Riley, who has a string of previous convictions for burgling houses in Hyndburn, broke into a house in Whalley Road, Clayton-le-Moors on October 17 but walked off after being caught in the act by the female home owner.

But just over a month later, on November 24, the 42-year-old ransacked and burgled a house in Queens Road, Accrington, and escaped with about £5,500 in electrical items and jewellery.

Prosecuting, Judith McCullough said the victim of the first incident returned to her home in Clayton-le-Moors to find a dog tied to a drainpipe at the side of her property.

When she went into the house she shouted for her husband but was met by Riley stood in her kitchen, who said: “I am really sorry. I have got completely the wrong house. I should be next door but one.”

Riley then walked passed the woman and when she looked outside she saw the defendant and the dog had gone.

Ms McCullough said the victims of the Accrington burglary returned home to find every room of their house had been ransacked and thousands of pounds of items had been stolen, including a Sony Experia Z mobile phone, three PlayStation 4 consoles, games and controllers, DVDs, cameras, jewellery and watches.

Crime scene investigators found Riley’s blood in three separate locations in the house.

Riley, of Burnley Road, Clayton-le-Moors pleaded guilty to burglary and burglary with intent to steal.

Defending, Anthony Stephenson said his client had turned his life around after getting himself off drugs in prison.

But he had relapsed after losing his voluntary job at a church cafe shop in Accrington.

Mr Stephenson said: “In the back end of last year he lost his voluntary role in the cafe shop. He found himself at home throughout the day on his own with not much to do. He found himself returning back to his old ways. He can’t explain why.”

Judge Beverley Lunt said: “You are now 42-years-old. You are a prolific burglar and you are a menace for anybody with a home. You have no respect for anybody’s home.”