A BEARDED burglar admitted stealing cash from a Chippenham home.

Claude Denham was told by a Swindon judge that all options would be open when he returned to the crown court to be sentenced next month.

The 29-year-old, of Berryfield Park, Melksham, pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated burglary but admitted the lesser charge of burglary. It was said he had broken into a house on Royal Close, Chippenham on May 6 last year in the company of other people.

Prosecuting, Hannah Squire said the Crown would accept the guilty plea to the simple burglary.

Judge Jason Taylor QC said: “You’ve pleaded guilty today, notwithstanding the offence you’ve pleaded guilty to is far less serious.”

He ordered a pre-sentence report from the probation service but made no promise about the likely outcome of the case. “You know you’ve got a poor record. All options are open. I will sentence on November 8,” the judge added.

Sentencing Council guidelines set out a range of two to six years imprisonment for the most serious domestic burglaries. However, judges are able to hand out sentences of up to 14 years for aggravated burglary, where for example the thief has used weapons to threaten the homeowner.