A HEARTLESS drug addict left a six-year-old boy with autism devastated after stealing his beloved nine-week-old puppy.

Prolific burglar Steven Marsh was jailed for four years and eight months at Liverpool Crown Court today, Wednesday, after admitting carrying out the crime spree.

The court heard how Marsh was caught after he fled the scene at 6am with his accomplice Paula Perkins at high speed in the family’s Jaguar XK8 car.

The thieves, who had also stolen £1,000 worth of electrical items, crashed shortly afterwards on Chicago Place.

When police arrived, Marsh fled leaving behind his partner-in-crime Perkins.

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Marsh ignored officers’ requests to stop but his luck ran out when he decided to hide beside by a parked car.

The vehicle belonged to off-duty detective sergeant Matthew Todd, who had been alerted by the commotion and came out to investigate.

Michael Whitty, prosecuting, said: “He told him to remain still and when he didn't he chased him in his bare feet until Marsh slipped.

"He took hold of him until the arrival of the police officers.”

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Perkins had been arrested at the scene and the puppy named Toby was found unhurt in the front passenger footwell.

Warrington Guardian:

PICTURED: The stolen pup Toby

Mr Whitty explained that the pet’s young owner is autistic and his mum said in a statement how particularly upsetting the incident had been for him.

The burglary at her home on Chicago Place, Chapelford, on July 8 was one of five burglaries carried out by 43-year-old Marsh.

This included breaking into Naz Barbers on Bridge Street on June 18 and stealing a holdall, £60 cash and bank cards from the owner’s car.

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On July 1, both defendants broke into a house on Arizona Crescent, Chapelford, and stole the keys for the occupant’s VW Toureg car and drove off in it.

The same night they broke into a house on Chicago Place while the occupants slept and stole more than £1,000 worth of items as well as bank cards which were later used by Perkins.

On the same evening that they stole the puppy, they broke into another house on Augusta Grove and took a laptop and bank card.

Marsh, of no fixed abode, also pleaded guilty to three counts of theft and being in breach of a suspended sentence.

Perkins, 40, of Barbondale Close, Great Sankey, who admitted her role in four of the burglaries, also pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and fraud.

The court heard how mum-of-two Perkins, who has no previous convictions for burglaries, was ‘willing to be led’ because of her drug addiction.

She was jailed for 18 months.

Carolyn Smith, defending Marsh, told the court how the burglar struggles with mental health problems and a drug habit.

When he came out of prison in February he was drug free.

But as he was homeless and he started ‘sofa surfing’ and relapsed into addiction, spending £50 a day on crack cocaine.

During sentencing, judge Thomas Teague, said, “This case provides a vivid demonstration of the devastating effect of illicit drugs.

"It has blighted the lives of both of you – that damage is self-inflicted.

“There are also innocent victims, those whose homes who raided.

"Those people have suffered greatly as a result of your addiction and they have done nothing to deserve that suffering.”