A HEROIN addict who burgled his next-door neighbour's house within hours of being given a chance by magistrates has been jailed for four years and four months.

David Evans was put on a suspended sentence with a drug rehabilitation requirement shortly before Christmas for a series of offences.

But on the same day the 24-year-old broke into a house on the first of four occasions over the following two months.

Sarah Regan, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that victim Alan Middleton returned home on the evening to December 21 to find a rear window removed and his house burgled.

On that occasion he stole PlayStation games, cigarettes and a palmtop computer worth a total of £350 from the house in St Mary's Grove.

Less than two weeks later he broke in through the same window and made off with a computer monitor, a hand-held computer and a computer worth £2,150.

He returned again on January 13 taking electrical goods worth £650 but left his fingerprints on a fish tank, which he moved to get in.

The fourth break-in took place on February 10 when he left empty-handed.

In between Evans also stole a mountain bike belonging to a student from Jennings Street and tried to sell it at Cash Converters.

His final offence took place on March 14 when he broke into a house in Hunters Grove, Rodbourne.

In that raid he took computer games, a flat screen TV, DVDs and a camera, worth a total of £2,510.

When he was questioned Evans told police that he had a heroin habit and he was stealing to fund it.

He said he was staying at his father's home and had decided to break into the neighbour's house.

The court was told that he had a history of burgling and was only released from prison in January last year.

He was twice caught shoplifting in September and November before being sentenced on December 21 for stealing handbags.

Evans, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to three burglaries and theft and asked for two further burglaries to be taken into consideration.

Rob Ross, defending, said that when his client first got out of prison he did well for about eight months, but later slipped back into heroin use.

Jailing him, Judge Tom Longbotham said: "On December 21 you were given a suspended sentence with a custodial term of four months and a drug rehabilitation requirement.

"What happens? On the very day you received the suspended sentence you burgle for the first time your neighbour's property and then after that your neighbour has to put up with his property being burgled again."