A NOTORIOUS local criminal who was caught red-handed after breaking into a disabled man's house has been jailed for four years and two months.

Vincent Sparkes, known as 'One-armed Bandit' because of his own handicap, even went out stealing a couple of days before he stood trial.

And the 39-year-old was then also caught on someone else's property after going out at night in the middle of his trial.

Despite the jury at Swindon Crown Court not hearing about his latest escapades they found him guilty of the break-in he was on trial for.

Jailing the three-strike burglar, Judge Robert Pawson said 'The public deserves a break from you' after noting he been before a court every year for a quarter of a century.

The jury of six men and six women heard Sparkes targeted the home of Ken Batten on Buttermere, Liden, in broad daylight on Thursday, September 20 last year.

After looking through the window and seeing the householder asleep he climbed through a window.

It is thought he was hoping to get his hands on morphine which Mr Batten is prescribed for his condition.

But the defendant had forgotten Mr Batten's daughter Toni often stayed with her dad and, once inside, he was confronted by her asking what he was doing.

Sparkes denied the charge of burglary, saying he had tapped on the window and was not stealing, just concerned when Mr Batten didn't respond, but he was convicted.

The night before the jury retired to consider their verdict he was caught by police on enclosed premises, and they discovered he was wanted for another offence.

A couple of days earlier he was been spotted on CCTV breaking into Sailors Grave barbers in Godwin Court, Old Town.

The court heard that in February this year he was jailed for 20 weeks for breaching a suspended sentence by trying to break into cars.

Tony Bignall, defending, said his client had long standing addictions to hard drugs and alcohol which led to his offending.

Following his release from prison earlier this year he said he had been homeless as his partner, who he has children with, won't have him back.

Jailing him the judge said "You have been given chances time after time again by the courts.

"You have been sent to probation so they can not only punish but rehabilitate you.

"Every year from 1994 to this year you have been in court almost for matters of dishonesty, 75 convictions for 171 offences.

"Unfortunately there comes a time where there are no options left for the court. The public deserves a break from you.

"All of this: 'Why would I break-in in broad daylight on a busy road?' was poppycock."