Prolific thief who raided Colne home is jailed

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A THIEF who has raided almost 60 East Lancashire homes in his long criminal career has been jailed for 45 months.

Drug addict Dean Johnson’s latest escapade saw him breaking into a house in Colne and stealing watches and other jewellery. After he was arrested, he took police on a tour of other places he had invaded, most of them commercial premises, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Johnson appeared in the dock in handcuffs after the judge was told he had escaped from court before. He was said to have mental health concerns and had self harmed in police cells.

The defendant, of Talbot Street, Colne, admitted burglary in Daisy Street, on March 28th, and had asked for nine offences to be considered.

Sarah Statham (prosecuting) said the victim had gone out in the afternoon, leaving his property secure. His neighbours saw two men acting suspiciously, one wearing a high visibility jacket.

Miss Statham said the victim found his home ransacked and property, including a collectors’ item model car, was missing. The defendant was arrested two days later andhad two gold pins taken in the burglary. He was interviewed and claimed he had gone to sell jewellery and had been passed some items outside.

Miss Statham said Johnson, who had 171 previous convictions, including 56 for house burglary, had served prison terms of five and four years.

James Heyworth (for Johnson) said he had spent most of his time in prison. His sister had died last November and he had had difficulty establishing a life back in the community.

The defendant had received counselling on remand. If he had not admitted the offences to be taken into consideration, it was unlikely they would have been solved.

Sentencing, Judge Simon Newell said: “The sentences imposed in the past don’t seem to have had any deterrent effect.”