A SERIAL housebreaker who stole jewellery from two homes while on prison licence for burglary has been jailed for three years and nine months.

“Third striker” John Elliott broke into the properties with a screwdriver in daylight raids to fuel his craving for heroin and cocaine, Bradford Crown Court heard.

Elliott, 38, of no fixed address, was sentenced on a video link to Leeds Prison on Tuesday.

He pleaded guilty to burgling a house in Ings Lane, Guiseley, on October 22 and making off with jewellery worth £1,100, and breaking into a bungalow in Enfield Road, Baildon, on December 14 and stealing jewellery, laptop computers and a charity box to the value of £700.

Prosecutor Michael Smith told the court that Elliott had seven previous convictions for 30 offences. He began housebreaking as a juvenile and had five home burglaries on his record.

Elliott broke into the Guiseley property through the front door, having first attacked the back door in a bid to get in.

He searched the main bedroom and escaped with the haul of jewellery.

Elliott struck in Baildon two months later, smashing a glass rear door to make an untidy search of the address. He left footprints all over the carpets and blood and a screwdriver at the scene.

Elliott’s barrister, Ken Green, said he knew he was going to prison for a lengthy period.

He was released from his previous sentence in July, 2017, and made a new start with his family.

But his relationship broke down and he went back to using class A drugs.

Mr Green said Elliott stayed out of trouble for more than a year but turned back to crime to fund his addiction.

He rang the police and handed himself in after committing the second burglary.

Mr Green said the homes were unoccupied at the time and there was no evidence that the jewellery was of sentimental value.

Judge Jonathan Rose said Elliott’s was a sad story that demonstrated the pernicious hold that class A drugs had on men like him.

But the violation of someone’s home had a long-term effect on the householder.

“Jewellery is treasured by its owners, whether inherited from a loved one or bought as a gift for a loved one,” Judge Rose said.

Elliott was a burglar of many years standing. “well past” being a third striker.