A burglar who in July was told he would go “straight back to prison” if he committed further offences has admitted arming himself with a meat cleaver and breaking into a Kilmington house last month.

Jason Scarff took a TV, keys and watch from the home on September 19.

Police found the 30-year-old with the meat cleaver in Chippenham later that day.

Appearing before Swindon Crown Court via video link from Bristol prison, Scarff, of Berryfields Park, Melksham, admitted burglary, possession of a bladed article and an earlier burglary committed in July 2019 when he stole tools from a house under renovation in Calne.

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The court heard Scarff was a “third-strike” burglar and therefore fell foul of rules requiring him to be given a minimum sentence of three years unless it would be unjust to do so.

After the thief asked for more time to speak to his lawyer, as they had only had the opportunity to speak over the video link before Friday’s hearing, Judge Jason Taylor QC adjourned the case for sentence on Wednesday, October 28.

He also faces being resentenced for a charge of aggravated vehicle taking. In July, he received a 20 month sentence suspended for two years after admitting swiping the keys to his ex-girlfriend’s £16,000 car and crashing it into a hedge - then leading police on a high-speed chase a day later.

Judge Taylor told him at that hearing: “I make this very clear to you: I’m going to reserve this sentence to myself. If you breach it you are coming right back before me and you will go straight back to prison.

“I’m giving you this chance because you seem to have the glimmers of being able to change your life as you have started to since 2016. But if you let me down your feet aren’t going to touch the ground.”