A CAREER criminal who went on a spice and alcohol-fuelled burgling spree has been jailed.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Richard James Croskell, who has 54 convictions for 101 offences, stole games consoles, jewellery, cash and presents during five burglaries and left two of his victims, who were not insured, thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Prosecuting, Emma Kehoe said the first incident took place at a house in Bracewell Street, Burnley, on July 25.

Victim Scott Foster returned home to find the back door of his property had been opened from the inside and the upstairs bedrooms had been ransacked. Among the items taken included a PlayStation 2, an Xbox One, an Xbox 360 and a silver chain.

The court heard 33-year-old Croskell had got into the house via an open window but was identified by a fingerprint he had left at the point of entry.

The second burglary happened at a house in Latham Street, Burnley, sometime between the evening of October 20 and the morning of October 21 when victim Waqas Muktar was out with friends.

Ms Kehoe said Mr Muktar had returned at 1.30am on October 21 to find his back door was open and a TV from the lounge had been taken. When he went upstairs he found drawers and cupboards had been opened and his £380 rent money had been stolen.

Crime scene investigators identified Croskell from blood he had left at the back door.

On October 27 Ghairat Aslami, the manager of A1 Hand Car Wash in Burnley, received a call in the early hours of the morning to say an alarm was going off at the premises. When he got to the premises he discovered the main door had been forced open and drawers and cupboards had been opened and emptied.

Ms Kehoe said £500 had been taken from under a carpet, as well as other cash from within the premises. Croskell, who was identified from the car washes’ CCTV, also stole two jet wash machines, and a suitcase of items Mr Aslami had broke back from Pakistan.

The court heard that the fourth incident – and attempted burglary – took place at a property in Briercliffe Road, Burnley, at 11.45pm on November 7 when victim John Boswell was awoken by a loud smashing noise.

Croskell was identified by blood he had left on the kitchen door handle.

The final burglary also took place at a property in Briercliffe Road, Burnley – this time a flat.

Victim Marcin Dochev returned home from a nightshift at 6.30am on November 7 to find the door to his flat had been forced open. Among the items taken were a Samsung TV, a Toshiba laptop, two debit cards and a wallet belonging to Mr Dochev’s friend.

Ms Kehoe said attempts had been made to use the debit cards.

Croskell, of Heap Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to four counts of burglary and and attempted burglary.

Defending, Wayne Jackson said his client had both mental and physical problems and burgling houses had been a deviation from his usual form of offending.

Mr Jackson said: “You have a pre-sentence report which indicates where he was mentally at the time when he talks about losing his mother and grandmother last year. Everything after that is a blur because he was on spice and alcohol.”

Judge Richard Gioserano jailed Croskell for 20 months.