A PROLIFIC Lye burglar has been jailed for four years after he carried out a string of raids to fund his drug habit.

Mark Jones burgled five properties less than a month after he was released from his previous prison sentence, taking his tally of break-ins in the Stourbridge and Halesowen areas to more than 40.

Judge Michael Dudley told the 38-year-old: "You say you are remorseful but when someone breaks into people's homes for 11 years it rings rather hollow."

He said Jones, who had committed 38 other burglary related crimes, had an "appalling" record for breaking into houses and businesses, causing considerable distress.

"I am afraid what you did has to be marked by a longer sentence than any you have had in the past," he told Jones at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Alka Brigue prosecuting, said Jones raided a house in Stanley Road, Oldswinford, and got away with a TV before breaking into a property in Chawn Hill, Stourbridge, where he took two laptops and two mountain bikes.

But he was quickly identified from CCTV taken in the area and when arrested by police officers, tests proved he had heroin in his system.

Jones of Morvale Street, Lye, admitted two burglary charges and he asked for three other similar offences to be taken into consideration.

These involved burglaries at Prospect Joinery in Amblecote, Pure Beauty in High Street, Halesowen, and Posh Cuts in High Street, Lye.

Stephen Hamblett, defending, said the root of all Jones' troubles was his drug addiction adding, "There is a cycle. He goes into prison, he comes out and he then commits more offences to fund his drug habit."

He told the judge that Jones had been involved in the drug world since he was 21 years of age.