A DRUG addict burglar has been jailed for five years after he crept into a woman's bedroom while she was asleep and stole her handbag.

The jury failed to reach a verdict in the first trial of Alan Dale but another jury convicted him on Friday after a retrial at Worcester Crown Court.

Dale was convicted of burgling a woman's flat and stealing her handbag from her bedroom, an offence he denied at trial.

He had admitted fraudulently using her stolen bank card to fund his drug habit but disputed that he was involved in the actual burglary.

The burglary took place at a flat above a shop after midnight on February 3 when the occupier, Sue Smith, was asleep in her bedroom.

The 46-year-old defendant told a jury he was not responsible, saying: "I don't do houses no more. It's too personal."

Dale admitted being involved in a second burglary at Clarks shoe shop in the town's Bridge Street on the same evening, February 2 and into the early hours of February 3, where he stole £10. But he said after the burglary he returned home to Northwick Road, bought some heroin and went to bed.

Dale used her stolen bank card to withdraw £250 at 1.52am on February 3, a transaction recorded on CCTV.

Mrs Smith said in a statement she went to bed around midnight at her two bedroom flat above the salon, waking in the night to find the flat door wide open.

However, it was only when she woke again at 8am that she noticed her handbag was missing from her bedroom.

The handbag contained £300 in cash, a diary and her driving licence. When she checked her online business account she realised a further £250 had been withdrawn. She also noticed a ladder propped up against the back wall, the only way a burglar could have gained access to the yard as the front door on the High Street had been locked.

Dale was called as the only defence witness, telling the jury he had been addicted to heroin and crack cocaine since the age of 15.

He told the jury that after committing the burglary at Clarks he returned home, managed by the integrated offender management team, and went to bed. He said there were 'four active burglars' living at that address at the time and that another resident had returned home that night, knocked on his door and told him he had carried out a burglary.

In a heated exchange with the prosecutor during the first trial he said: "You're trying to get me guilty on a burglary I haven't done. There's no DNA. There's no fingerprints. There's no firm evidence to put me at that burglary."

A spokesperson for the South Worcestershire Integrated Offender Management team said: "He was told by the judge that 'It is time the public had a rest from your continuing offending'."