Drug addict John Hallam jailed at Leicester court after string of raids on homes
A burglar who struck at four homes to feed his drug addiction has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
John Hallam pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to three burglaries in Nuneaton, and a charge of possessing criminal property taken during another break-in.
Hallam (29) had earlier pleaded guilty at Leicester Crown Court to a further burglary at an address in Hinckley.
Prosecutor Mark Phillips said a retired woman of Camp Hill Road, Nuneaton, went out for the afternoon in September last year and returned to find her home had been burgled.
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The intruder, who got in by removing a window, had stolen two televisions, a laptop computer, jewellery and an expensive scart lead which was later found at Hallam's home.
Mr Phillips said when Hallam, of Neston Gardens, Saffron Lane, Leicester, was eventually arrested, trainers found at his home matched footprints in the kitchen of the burgled house.
A few days after the Camp Hill Road burglary, an elderly couple woke to find their home in Buchan Close, Nuneaton, had been broken into during the night.
Their large-screen television, which had cost £860, had been stolen, together with £50 in cash.
Again Hallam had left behind a footprint.
The court was told that earlier, property worth £929 had been stolen in a burglary at a house in Sherbourne Avenue, Nuneaton.
There was no forensic evidence to link Hallam to the break-in itself, but on September 16 he had sold a digital camera taken during the raid at a second-hand shop.
Then, about three days later, Hallam broke into a home in Green Lane, Nuneaton, while the retired owner was away, and stole jewellery, a television and a laptop computer from her bedroom.
The victim said that as a result of the break-in she was so worried about being burgled again while she was in her bedroom that she slept downstairs for three weeks until she'd had an alarm fitted.
When Hallam was eventually arrested he still had some of the jewellery at his home, but denied carrying out the burglaries and claimed other people also wore his trainers.
By then he had also carried out a similar burglary at a house in Nutts Lane, Hinckley, by removing glass from one of the windows, and had stolen electrical items and jewellery worth just over £3,000.
Hallam, who had a large number of previous convictions, but none for house burglary since 1990, admitted being responsible for that break-in when he was arrested.
Jonathan Cox, defending Hallam, said: "The defendant understands these are serious matters and the inevitable sentence is one of immediate custody."
He said there had been a reduction in Hallam's offending after 2000, when he got work as a landscape gardener and had a stable relationship. But after the relationship broke down, he began using heroin and committing offences to fund his addiction.
The Nuneaton offences were committed after a new relationship also broke down and he found himself on the street or sleeping on friends' sofas, the court was told.
Since being remanded in custody, Hallam had been undergoing courses to address his drug use, added Mr Cox.
Jailing Hallam, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones told him: "Being addicted to drugs is no mitigation.
"Burglaries of people's homes are very serious offences because you steal far more that people's property – you steal their peace of mind."