Prolific burglar with drugs debts jailed for raiding hotels and digs
A BURGLAR from Bristol who snatched property from hotel rooms and student digs has been jailed for three years.
John O'Brien targeted several venues and accommodation blocks in Bath, Bristol Crown Court heard.
The cocaine user had racked up a £3,500 debt to dealers, a judge was told.
O'Brien, of Kendon Drive, Manor Farm, Horfield, pleaded guilty to eight burglaries and one theft of a car in March and April.
Bridal hand tied bouquet (Roses)
2 Bridesmaids (Roses)
Groom & Best Man button holes (Roses)
Discounted rates apply to larger Bridal party requests.
Not to be used with any other offer.
Contact: 0117 2448228
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC told him: "You were leading a life of crime and you have been for many years.
"You have now built up a very substantial criminal record.
"At the time of these offences you targeted hotel rooms and student accommodation to steal for money.
"They are categorised as dwelling houses and caused distress."
David Maunder, prosecuting, said a room at Bath Spa Hotel in Bathwick was raided, the keys to a £25,000 BMW were grabbed and the car was stolen.
Mr Maunder catalogued a series of burglaries 37-year-old O'Brien carried out, including raids on two student rooms at Westwood Complex, Bath University, in which lap top computers containing valued coursework were taken.
The court heard O'Brien stole items including phones, an iPad, Kindle, perfume and after-shave in a raid on a room at the Homewood Park Hotel in Hinton Charterhouse, as well as property from rooms in the hotel's Water Lily Suite.
A further raid was carried out on a room at Combe Grove Manor Hotel and Country Club in Brassknocker Hill, Bath.
Mr Maunder said O'Brien was traced when one victim used his Track My Phone application, which showed the phone was at a house in Shortlands Road, Lawrence Weston.
Police who searched the address rang the phone, located it and found a haul of stolen property. They then found O'Brien, hiding under insulation in the loft of the house.
The BMW stolen from the Bath Spa Hotel was found some 400 metres away, bearing false number plates and with a further set of false number plates in the boot, the court heard.
Jonathan Stanniland, defending, said his client had not deliberately targeted high value goods, but had undertaken a "lucky dip" approach to stealing. He said O'Brien was a Samaritan-trained listener in Bristol Prison and there was another side to him than described in the prosecution papers.
Mr Stanniland told the court: "He is not the classic dwelling house burglar that this court deals more frequently with. There's been work and a family life as well."