A PERSISTENT burglar who raided a house just week after being released from prison early for similar offences is back behind bars.

Alan Aldous went straight back on to crack cocaine when he was freed less than 12 months into a two-and-a-half year jail term.

And after going to see mates in Swindon, the Royal Wootton Bassett man went door knocking at a bungalow. When no one answered he went round the back and smashed his way in.

But while making off with a £479 iPad, cash and jewellery, the 28-year-old left blood near a safe inside the Haydon Wick property.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the victim left her home in Avonmead over lunchtime on December 3.

When she returned she found a uPVC panel in the back door had been forcibly removed and a window smashed.

Inside, the iPad Air had been taken with a purse containing coins and a box holding a charm bracelet and charms.

But police also found a spot of blood in the property and it matched the defendant.

He was interviewed but refused to answer questions until he was told about the forensic evidence when he became distressed.

“The items he had taken were long gone. He had sold them to people to fund his drug habit. He apologised for what he had done and the distress he had caused," said Mr Meeke.

Aldous, of Buxton Way, Royal Wootton Bassett, pleaded guilty to burglary when he appeared in court by video link.

He got two-and-a-half years in December 2017 for six burglaries including one where he took a charity box from the home of a bed ridden 91-year-old.

That sentence ran alongside the 44 months he got in January 2017 for burglaries including one at the Whale and Dolphin Conservation charity in Chippenham.

As well as a criminal career with more than 20 house raids he has also broken into commercial premises, committed robbery and drugs offences.

Nick Fridd, defending, handed a letter to the judge from his client’s mother and said he realised he was facing three years, less 20 per cent for pleading guilty, as a three strike burglar.

He said Aldous had got out just a couple of weeks before the raid and quickly got back on to crack cocaine.

“He went to Swindon to see a mate and he broke in to this bungalow,” he said.

Jailing him for 876 days Judge Robert Pawson said “That is the minimum sentence it seems appropriate in all the circumstances.

“For the sake of your mother, if not the general public, you have got to stay away from the people that are leading you astray and you have got to stay off drugs.

“That is not an easy thing to do. The sentences are only to get longer and longer.”