A prolific burglar who targeted homes to help finance his gambling and drinking has been jailed for six years.
Nicholas Gallagher, 43, committed the offences after being released from a previousprison term for burglary to complete his sentence in the community.
On Monday at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge Rupert Overbury told Gallagher: “Your history demonstrates that you are a professional burglar. You have demonstrated that over a number of years.”
Among the homes raided by Gallagher were properties in Withersfield Road,Great Wratting, High Street, Brinkley and Mill Hill, Weston Colville.
Gallagher had pleaded guilty to three offences of burglary and one of attemptedburglary and asked for 19 similar offences which police had not suspected him of involvement in to be taken into consideration.
Prosecuting, Michael Crimp said an attempted break-in at a property in Saxon Street, Cheveley on the afternoon of August 23 had led to Gallagher, formerly of Bill Rickaby Drive, Newmarket and now of no fixed address, being caught.
A passer-by had heard a burglar alarm and seen a man run from the scene before leaving in a car which was later traced to an address in Stanley Road, Newmarket.
After being arrested and linked to three other offences by evidence from the scene, Gallagher admitted to police that he was responsible and offered to take officers on a tour to identify other properties he had burgled, said Mr Crimp.
That trip resulted
in police being able to
solve burglaries at 19 properties involving the loss of more than £27,000 worth
Police said that without Gallagher’s co-operation the crimes would have been likely to remain unsolved.
Mr Crimp said that prior to Cheveley attempted burglary in which a window had been smashed and triggered an alarm, Gallagher had broke into a house in Freckenham from where he stole jewellery worth £5,000.
Defending, Joanne Eley said Gallagher, who had
issues with gambling and alcohol, had expressed remorse and had insight into the suffering caused by his offending.
Jailing him, Judge Overbury told Gallagher: “You have absolutely no regard for other peoples property. You see it simply as a means to smash your way into someone’s home, breaching their privacy, making an untidy search looking for particular items.”
Last year Gallagher was jailed at the same court for three years after admitting a string of burglaries at homes and businesses across Suffolk and Essex.
Judge Overbury added: “You activities not only deprive hard working, law abiding members of the community of items, some of great sentimental value, but cause immeasurable concern and harm.
“Sometimes people never get over being burgled.”