A prolific burglar returned to his old ways within weeks after being released from jail, a court was told.
Stephen Gregory had planned to start a new life in Skegness after being let out from his previous prison sentence but found himself homeless after his plans to move in with a relative fell through.
Lincoln Crown Court was told that Gregory went instead to live at a hostel and quickly was back on drugs.
He then went on to carry out a string of house burglaries in Skegness to feed his habit.
Stuart Lody, prosecuting, said within a two week period Gregory raided three homes in the resort and fled from a fourth property after he was disturbed.
Gregory was caught after leaving his fingerprints behind at the scene of one of the burglaries.
Mr Lody said “The defendant is heavily convicted. He said in interview that he prefers it inside custody than out.
“He was released from prison and committed burglaries similar to others he had carried out in the past.”
Gregory carried out the raids on homes in Dorothy Avenue, Cecil Avenue and Castleton Boulevard stealing hundreds of pounds worth of property including jewellery and electrical items. He attempted a further burglary in Briar Way but was disturbed and fled empty handed.
The court was told that he had nine previous convictions for burglary.
Gregory, 45, of no fixed address, admitted three charges of burglary and an attempt burglary. He also admitted theft of £40 from a man with learning difficulties. The offences were committed on dates between 14 and 30 September.
He was jailed for four years and ordered to pay a £900 Criminal Courts Charge. Judge Michael Heath, passing sentence, told him “Your record shows you are a serial burglar of dwelling houses causing misery to householders.”
Siward James-Moore, defending, said that Gregory was clean of drugs when he came out of prison in August and believed he had accommodation line-up.
It was only when he was released that he found himself with nowhere to live and then started taking drugs again.
Mr James-Moore said “He ended up living in a hostel. It was all too easy for him to lapse back to drug use.
“He didn’t for a moment consider his victims. He stole to buy drugs.”