A JUDGE has told a career criminal who burgled a home in Grappenhall that he has no sympathy for him.

James Loose, 36, from Manchester, was jailed at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday for stealing jewellery and electronics from a property in the village.

Jayne Morris, prosecuting, told the court that the house belonged to a retired man and his wife who left home at 8am on December 17.

They received a call at about 5.30pm that day with the news that their home had been burgled.

Loose had used tools to break through the patio doors and taken a laptop worth £400.

He left muddy footprints throughout, leading to the master bedroom where more than £1,000 of sentimental jewellery was missing and a tablet worth £120.

Police became aware of the burglary when they spotted a suspicious looking Honda with false registration plates in Grappenhall.

Inside the vehicle, police found the stolen items.

The victims are now scared to leave their home empty and fear being alone inside.

The court was told Loose has 19 previous convictions for 42 offences including burglary, robbery, dangerous driving and supplying class A drugs.

Judge Steven Everett commented: "Looking at his previous convictions, he is turning into something of a career criminal."

Max Saffman, defending, stressed that all the jewellery was recovered, probably a matter of minutes after it was stolen, and Loose had entered an early guilty plea.

He had engaged with the probation service since his release from prison in June but his father's illness had deeply affected him and drove him to drink.

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Judge Everett, sentencing, said: "Everybody's home is their castle and they are entitled to feel safe in that castle.

"Every time those people come back and look at that they are going to be reminded of what you and your associate did.

"From your relatively short time on this earth you have an appalling record.

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"You shook your head when I said you were starting to look like a career criminal but you need to start seeing yourself like other people do.

"I bear in mind that your father's illness undoubtedly affected you but it is a fact of life that you get ill and we all die.

"I have no sympathy at all for your reaction.

"Seeing you in the dock today I can see that there is an element of remorse.

"But, most people go their whole lives without committing an offence."

Loose was sentenced to 20 months in prison, to serve half in custody and half on licence.

The Honda is to be forfeited and destroyed.