A BURGLAR, who was caught by police after leaving a cigarette lighter at one of his victim’s homes, is now behind bars.

Steven Stone, of Cantilever Gardens, Latchford, was sentenced to 14 months in prison after he went on a crime spree in the town between February and April.

The 35-year-old pleaded guilty to four counts of burglary but also admitted a further three offences after he claimed he wanted to ‘wipe the slate clean’ and turn his life around.

The court heard how Stone had ransacked seven homes across the town including houses in Cantilever Gardens and Fairfield Road in Stockton Heath.

Prosecuting Peter Hussey said: “The defendant has admitted all of the offences. His motivation was that he had run up a gambling debt and was at risk of losing his flat.”

Items stolen included electrical products, watches and a vintage bottle of champagne.

Some of the goods have since been recovered.

Recorder Stuart Driver said: “One victim described the impact as very upsetting and that is the typical reaction of a person on finding out their home has been burgled. The court can assume that other offences had a similar reaction for their victims.”

Stone was handed four 14 month sentences at Warrington Crown Court on Friday which are to be served concurrently.