A PROLIFIC burglar who broke into over 40 properties across Halesowen and Stourbridge has been jailed for four years.

Drug addict Mark Jones spent 11 years breaking into properties and his latest spate of burglaries came just weeks after being released from jail.

Judge Michael Dudley told the 38-year-old at Wolverhampton Crown Court: "You say you are remorseful but when someone breaks into people's homes for eleven years it rings rather hollow."

He said Jones who had committed 38 other burglary related crimes had an "appalling" record for breaking into houses and businesses causing considerable distress.

He said: "I am afraid what you did has to be marked by a longer sentence than any you have had in the past."

Mrs Alka Brigue prosecuting said Jones raided a house in Stanley Road, Oldswinford and got away with a TV before breaking into a smart property in Chawn Hill, Stourbridge where he took two laptops and two mountain bikes.

But he was quickly identified on CCTV taken in the area and when arrested by police officers tests proved he had heroin in his system.

Jones of Morvale Street, Lye admitted two burglary charges and he asked for three other similar offences to be taken into consideration.

These involved burglaries at Prospect Joinery in Amblecote, Pure Beauty in High Street, Halesowen and Posh Cuts in High Street, Lye.

Mr Stephen Hamblett defending said the root of all Jones' troubles was his drug addiction.

He said: "There is a cycle. He goes into prison, he comes out and he then commits more offences to fund his drug habit."

He told the Judge that Jones had been involved in the drug world since he was 21-years-old.