Drug addict burglar is sent for rehabilitation

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A drug addict who caused a 'catalogue of loss and heartache' after a string of burglaries has been spared jail.

Paul Weir admitted stealing goods worth almost 15,000 to fuel his habit.

Over five months the 38-year-old broke into seven Portsmouth homes and made off with TVs, cash, jewellery, watches and even photographs.

Weir broke in using screwdrivers and other tools and on one occasion climbed through a dog flap. But he was eventually caught after leaving footprints and fingerprints at the crime scenes.

At Portsmouth Crown Court, Weir was given a 24-month suspended sentence.

He was also sent a rehab unit in Weston Super Mare, Somerset, where he must now complete a six-month drug detoxification programme.

District Recorder Claire Jaken said: 'What a catalogue I have listened to.

'A catalogue of loss and heartache, of you violating people's homes and taking away things that they love, going into people's homes when there are children present and converting everything you steal into junk to put in your veins.

The first burglary took place in Alverstone Road, Southsea, on September 10 last year, followed by burglaries in Southwood Road, Hilsea, on January 14, Paignton Avenue, Copnor, on January 22, Hartley Road, North End, on February 6 and Chelmsford Road, North End, on February 14.

He also burgled a house in Merrivale Road, North End, after breaking in on February 18. But Weir's biggest haul came from a home in Amberley Road, North End, two days later on February 20, when he fled with 7,605 worth of goods.

Recorder Jaken added: 'Each violation of somebody's home has a terrible knock-on effect. You never thought about that when you were breaking in.

'The court takes a very dim view of domestic burglaries because you frighten people – you cost everybody money.'

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