A 56-year-old serial burglar has been jailed for stealing thousands of pounds worth of jewellery and ornaments from a house in Harrogate.
Terrence Stott, whose criminal career dates back to the mid-1970s, broke into the property on Duchy Road after using a spade to smash his way through a window.
As he ransacked the house he left a trail of blood from cuts sustained from smashed glass, York Crown Court heard.
He then pilfered £2,500 worth of jewellery and ornaments before fleeing into the night. The householders were said to be devastated.
Stott, who was on prison licence at the time, was duly arrested and charged with burglary. He admitted the offence and was recalled to prison. He appeared for sentence on Friday, July 1, via video link from Hull Prison.
Prosecutor Stephen Walch said that Stott, a drug addict who looks much older than his 56 years, broke into the property in the early evening of June 1.
“He smashed his way in with a spade, scattering blood around the premises,” said Mr Welch. “He then searched for rich pickings - jewellery and ornaments worth over £2,500. The householders continue to be upset and were left feeling vulnerable in their own home.”
The court heard that Stott, of Avenue Grove, Harrogate, had over 70 previous convictions for 190 offences, many of them house burglaries.
He had served several prison terms in the past, the last of which was a four-and- a-half- year sentence for burglary in 2013.
Defence barrister Holly Betke said Stott was deeply remorseful about the state in which he had left the house in Duchy Road, and that the householders still suffered stress from the break-in.
She added that Stott had got himself clean of drugs when he was released from his last prison sentence, but then started hanging around with drug users again and fell back into his old habits.
She said Stott was glad to be arrested again because “to be in custody is his safest place”.
Jailing Stott for four years, Recorder Andrew Stubbs QC told the career criminal: “You of all people should know the effect that house burglaries have on a household.
“You are becoming an old man, Terrence Stott, and you will not be getting any younger by the time you are released form this sentence.”