A BURGLAR who once went on a summer spree after being freed from prison shrugged as he admitted his latest raft of break-ins and distraction thefts.

Appearing before Swindon Crown Court via prison video link, Shane Jarvis, 49, pleaded guilty to five burglaries in four towns and cities, posing as a worker from Santander and HSBC to get women’s pin numbers and using a victim’s card to withdraw £250.

He targeted sheltered housing for older people in Manton Street, Rodbourne, as well as in Salisbury, Warminster, Salisbury and Plymouth.

Prosecutor Tessa Hingston said the Bristol man had been fingered for nine similar offences.

Emma Handslip, defending, said there had been a dozen years since his last offences were committed and asked for an adjournment so she could obtain reports about her client’s mental and physical health.

Recorder Barry McElduff put the case back to April 17. He did not order a pre-sentence report, telling Miss Handslip: “From what I have read thus far I would need some persuading.”

In 2008, Jarvis was jailed for six years for a month-long spree of 50 burglaries across the south of England.

He had been released on licence from Dartmoor prison at 9am on June 2, 2007 having served the bulk of a seven year sentence imposed in 2003.

By 7pm the following evening he was knocking on the door of a 72-year-old woman’s bungalow in Salisbury where he stole her purse.

A month later he went to an 81-year-old’s house in Saxon Close, Cricklade, which he had stolen from in the past. He said he was from the housing association which owned the property and stole a bag.

And on the same day he took a 78-year-old’s handbag in Gloucester.

Jarvis admitted six counts of burglary and asked for a further 50 matters to be taken into consideration. The burglaries took place across the south of England, including in Swindon, Purton, and Devizes.

Judge David Smith QC said: “This is an appalling tale of preying on the elderly.

“The only thing that can be said is that you never threatened anyone but it’s very cynical and I don’t know how you do it.

“You trick your way into their homes and it causes them terrible upset.”

“One may say seven years didn’t work before, it should be longer, but I feel I must restrain myself.”

A Cricklade pensioner was twice targeted by Jarvis, having fallen prey to the burglar in 2002.

She said: “I thought he would have been let out with a chaperone.

"I couldn’t believe they had just let him go and expected him to come back.”