A prolific burglar has been jailed again with a judge urging him to speak to someone about his problems to prevent further re-offending.

Dion Lucas, 29, was handed a custodial sentence by Judge Graham Knowles, who said his criminal record, which includes 36 convictions for 59 offences, 13 of which were non-dwelling burglaries, was clearly a result of the issues from his childhood, which he had failed to properly address.

Preston's Sessions House heard how on August 15 at around 9.30pm, Lucas, of Midsummer Street, Blackburn, had tried to break into Geek Retreat on Church Street in the town centre.

He was caught on CCTV smashing a window, putting his hand inside, and stealing the CCTV camera, which had been newly installed as a result of a break-in the night before.

The police were called as the owners had seen the incident unfold from an app which gave them access to the shop's cameras, however Lucas had disappeared by the time they arrived.

Prosecuting, Beth Pilling said: "Several hours later, at around 2.45am, police were called to the Cantonese Box on Duckworth Street in Darwen, where they found a door had been kicked in and the defendant was hiding under a table in the kitchen, with attempts made to get into the adjoining flat, which was empty.

"Nothing was found on the defendant but the till had been taken.

"The defendant said he had just come across the door being open and had gone in to the property."

Lancashire Telegraph: Dion Lucas has been given a jail sentence and told to talk about his issues

The owners of both Geek Retreat and the Cantonese Box told police they had been extremely inconvenienced by the break-ins.

Chris Holden said he and his wife had only opened Geek Retreat several weeks earlier, and the incident had set them back.

He said not only was the shop a place for people to go and buy games, but was a community hub, where people could go and meet friends and play on the consoles, and he was concerned about how he could continue operating after being targeted twice in as many days.

Ross Campbell from the Cantonese Box said it had been very stressful for him, stating it was frustrating when people like Lucas steal and take things from hard working people who are striving to make a living.

Lucas denied burgling Geek Retreat at first, saying he had been in a tent all night with his friend, but then admitted to two counts of burglary at a pre-trial hearing.

At the time of the offences he was in breach of a community order handed to him for shoplifting offences, and on September 9 was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and kept in custody.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Victoria Lewis, defending Lucas, who has previous drug addictions, said since his last custodial sentence in 2019, her client had opened up about the issues in his childhood which helped him access the underlying triggers that led to his behaviour.

She said: "I ask the court to consider whether a suspended sentence would allow support for longer and subject him to rehabilitation so he can seek more help and turn his back on offending for good."

In sentencing Lucas to 10 months, Judge Knowles urged him to make the best of his willingness to talk about his problems.

He said: "I have read your pre-sentence report and it does make a difference in your favour that you are confronting things now that you have never confronted before.

"Keep talking and working through things, not only for the interests of every shop keeper in Blackburn, but for your own interests.

"You need to face up to talking as this is the best and only prospect of living your life every day as more enjoyable than it has been so far."