A 28-YEAR-OLD prolific burglar has been jailed for six years after his latest spree of 20 break-ins and thefts in Cirencester and Cheltenham.

Elliot Harris, formerly of Hester’s Way, Cheltenham but now of no fixed address, was sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court on Wednesday, October 11 for ten house burglaries, one attempted dwelling burglary and nine thefts.

He admitted seven charges on the indictment and asked for 13 more offences to be taken into consideration.

Caitlin Evans, prosecuting, said: “The first burglary was on December 13 last year when a messy search was made of a property in Cheltenham and items of jewellery were stolen. 

"They had sentimental value to the owners and a quantity of cash was also taken from a wallet.

“On July 13 this year Harris stole laundry pods and washing capsules valued at £54.99 from a Tesco store in Cheltenham.

“On July 16 he stole an electric pedal cycle, valued at £1,000, belonging to a man in his 80s after it had been propped up outside a shop for only a couple of minutes.

“On July 28, Harris attempted a burglary of a dwelling in Queen Street, Cirencester, while the home owner was working at the back of the property.

"She heard the sound of a large bang and saw Harris armed with a hammer smashing a kitchen window which cost £2,500 to repair.

“The same day he broke into another property in City Bank Road, Cirencester while the owner was on holiday. 

“Harris also burgled more two homes in Cirencester and smashed windows to enter both properties.

“When he was caught by police officers he was found in possession of some of the items that had been stolen that day."

Steven Young, defending, said: “Harris accepts that he will receive a significant sentence today.

“It appears that when Harris has a trauma in his life he turns to drugs as a coping mechanism.

"He is not a hard and fast drug user or even a regular drug user, but he does use drugs when he feels the need to.

“This spree of burglaries began in December but were not detected until he was serving a prison sentence for similar offending in March this year.

"He was arrested on the day he was released on June 21, 2023 and charged with the burglary.

"He was bailed with a condition not to return to Cheltenham and was given accommodation in Gloucester but this meant he was sharing a property with other drug users so he decided to leave and make himself homeless.

"Despite his attempt to stay away from drugs, he was unable to do so because his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder flared up and he began having flashbacks to another period in his life.

“He will not get help with this while he is in custody and will have to get help when he is released.”

Judge Rupert Lowe told Harris: “These home owners you burgled have had their lives seriously interrupted with not only the theft, but the cost of rectifying the damage and increase in insurance premiums.

“You don’t care about anybody affected by your offending.

"You shattered these home owners' confidence in their own security and left them fearing you might come back. 

“I am pleased you are making good progress in custody in turning your life around and I hope this continues into the future."