A JUDGE has turned down the chance to enforce a ‘three strike’ rule designed to punish repeat offenders.

Warrington Crown Court heard on Monday of Derek Warburton’s ‘dreadful record’ of offending.

The 21-year-old, of Archer Avenue, Latchford has been sentenced 49 times for 86 offences.

On Monday he pleaded guilty to burglary - the third time he has been convicted for the crime.

Recorder David Williams opted not to enforce the three strike rule, which would have seen him serve a minimum of three years in prison.

He said it would be a ‘disproportionate’ punishment as Warburton had only stolen DVDs from an empty house during his most recent burglary.

Mr Williams jailed him for 26 weeks and said: “Every form of sentence has been tried and failed.

“No one’s property is safe from you.

“You break into the house of a friend and steal the items for sale.

“You must understand you’re going to run out of excuses.

“If you come back to court for another burglary you will be going to prison for three years.”

He turned and smiled at supporters as details of his crimes were read out.

In 2006 he used a spare key to enter his uncle’s house.

He ate food before helping himself to car keys and stealing his relative’s car, which he then crashed.

And in July 2012 the defendant broke into a garden shed to steal items.

Warburton’s latest offence saw him enter a house on Amelia Street in Orford through a bathroom window on October 9 last year.

Rob Jones, prosecuting, said he stole 40 DVDs.

The court heard the defendant pawned the stolen DVDs at Cash Converters for £45, spending the money on more alcohol.

He was arrested by police two days later on Broadbent Avenue in Westy along with an accomplice.

Keith Jones, defending, said he was still drunk when committing the burglary and had entered the property to recover beer he had left there during a party the night before.

He said Warburton’s offences were ‘the low level in the grand scheme of domestic burglaries’, and added he has been in care since the age of 12.