A house burglar who raided almost £25,000 worth of property from just one of the three homes he targeted has been jailed for six years.

Wayne Thornton was equipped with a lock-pick and a multi-tool when broke into a house in Tulyar Court, Gilstead, Bingley, at 3.30am on September 28, 2019.

He made off with house and vehicle keys, £600 worth of jewellery and cash, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

Thornton, 45, of York Street, Bingley, was arrested close by with his burglary kit and three stolen Pandora rings in his pocket.

Prosecutor Emma Downing said the rest of the haul, including three silver bracelets and an engagement ring of great sentimental value were not recovered.

Thornton was next caught with a phone and nail gun stolen in a burglary in Baildon on June 9 last year. The break-in saw £1,500 property raided along with two vehicles worth a total of £15,500.

He struck again on November 1 and 4, burgling homes in Ash Grove, Bingley, and Aire View Avenue, Cottingley.

He forced his way into the first house and did £330 damage but the burglar alarm went off and he fled empty handed leaving his DNA on a broken bowl.

Thornton and an accomplice then ransacked the address in Cottingley, making off with £24,376 worth of property, including a collection of designer handbags, a watch and high-value electronic items.

The court heard the burglars smashed their way in through a patio door while the occupiers were out. They got away with 88 separate items.

They stashed some of the stolen property in the shrubbery and returned later to collect it. Items of sentimental value were then returned to the couple by a man calling himself John.

Thornton pleaded guilty to three house burglaries and an offence of handling stolen goods. He had 25 previous convictions for 77 offences, including burglary and attempted burglary.

His barrister, Ian Hudson, said he had been out of trouble for ten years but then lost his job and his relationship broke down. He became involved with drugs again and his addiction escalated.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Richard Mansell QC, told Thornton: “Although you do not qualify for a minimum three year sentence on any of the three dwelling house burglaries, these offences call for a significant sentence of imprisonment, to punish you, to deter others and to protect the public from you committing further such offences now that you appear to have returned to your previous criminal ways.”