Thief was a mentor at drug group
7:00am Wednesday 4th September 2013 in Latest News
A MENTOR at a drug counselling group burgled a house after drinking a bottle of tequila having started using heroin again.
Michael Loraine, who has 27 previous convictions for house breaking, sneaked into the property while the occupants slept upstairs.
The 48-year-old stole two laptop computers along with a bag and a multi-tool when he raided the Rodbourne house on May 27.
But as he walked away with the proceeds of the crime he was spotted with another crook by an off-duty policeman, who told colleagues what he had seen.
And when they raided his home they found the ‘bag for life’ which the eagle-eyed officer had seen and the tool, but the laptops were gone.
Now the “serial criminal”, who was only released from prison in March last year, is back behind bars.
Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the husband and wife living at a two bed terraced house on Montague Street had gone to bed on the Sunday night.
However a small transom window in the dining room had been left ajar and the raider managed to put an arm through and open a larger window.
When the couple came down in the morning they found their own laptop and a work computer had been taken.
Also missing was the supermarket bag for life which the off duty officer thought appeared to have two computers in it.
Miss Hingston said when Loraine’s house was searched the bag was found as was the multi-tool, but the laptops had clearly been sold on.
Loraine, of West-bourne Court, Jennings Street, Rodbourne, pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary.
The court heard he was jailed in January 2011 for about two years and five months under the three-strike burglar law.
Paul Trotman, defending, said his client accepted he was again facing a lengthy jail term under the same regulation He said: “He tells me prior to this offence he had three years where he hadn’t been taking any drugs at all or alcohol and in fact had been a mentor for a drug counselling group in Swindon.
“He had, in the few weeks up to this offence, been relatively stable.
“A few weeks before this a friend committed suicide by jumping off a multi-storey car park and he started to drink, take cannabis and heroin, though not to a large extent.
“He was drinking on the day of this offence and had drunk a bottle of tequila prior to committing this offence.”
Jailing him for three years and three months Recorder David Bartlett said: “You are a serial criminal and a serial burglar, you have no less than 27 previous dwelling house burglaries to your name.
“It is for people like you that Parliament passed the Act in 1999 that if you commit three dwelling burglaries after that date that the minimum sentence was three years.”