A 'career burglar' who raided 24 houses this autumn has been jailed for three years and eight months.

Justin Rouse smashed small windows to get into family homes as they slept, targeting jewellery and electrical items to fund his £500 a day drugs habit.

On one occasion the 35-year-old was disturbed by a mum returning home with her kids during the evening raid.

And another, when he found himself in the house of an Indian lady, he carefully unfurled her saris knowing gold given as wedding gifts is often sewn into them.

Hannah Squire, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown how most of the break-ins took place across the town last month.

She said the first was on Sunday November 5 he smashed into a house on East Wichel Way and took a Rolex watch, engagement rind and games consoles.

On the same evening a mum and her children got back to their house at the bottom of Kingshill Road when she heard noises upstairs.

Noticing a rock and glass on the living room floor her uncle and the children's dad went up but the raider had gone, taking her jewellery box and a Kindle Fire tablet.

But a number of boxes of Christmas presents had been piled up at the top of the stairs, presumably to be taken.

A week later he broke into a property on Purley Avenue, Park South, where the householder was still in the process of moving in.

When she returned to check on the house she not only found jewellery had been taken in a break in but her saris had been searched, but her gold was not there.

On the night of Monday November 20 into the following morning Rouse broke into houses on Southampton Street and nearby Plymouth Street.

In the first he took a TV and cash and the second a mobile phone and the keys to a brand new Vauxhall Mokka, which was driven away and found abandoned nearby.

He was arrested after victims' neighbours saw him, and at his Frobisher Drive home police found items taken in other raids as well as the break-ins he admitted.

Rouse, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to five burglaries, two handling stolen goods, four thefts, taking without consent and driving without a licence.

He also asked for a further 19 house burglaries to be taken into consideration when he is sentenced.

The court heard he was first convicted of house breaking in 1996, when he was 15, and offended regularly after until he got three years three months in 2010.

"Up until than point Mr Rouse has been a prolific career burglary," Miss Squire said.

Richard Williams, defending, said that he had stayed out of trouble after his release but earlier in the year fell back into drug addiction after a number of family issues.

"He clearly expressed, through me, his remorse and wishes me to apologise in open court to all the victims of his offending and all those he has affected," he said.

Jailing him Judge Robert Pawson said "The burglaries I have to sentence you for now, there were a number at night where people were asleep, their children were there.

"Sometimes if a window was ajar you opened it, the occupants were often home.

"In sober moments now you are in custody I can imagine how someone would feel the children being asleep at home and someone anyone had been in."