A SERIAL burglar has been jailed after stealing tobacco worth thousands of pounds from a Portland store.

Terence Michael Richard Bryant aged 29, admitted one count of burglary at Dorchester Crown Court.

Prosecutor Mark Ruffell said the offence took place just weeks after the defendant, of Hillcrest Road, Weymouth, was released from prison.

He told the court that Bryant, together with another offender, went to the Esso Petrol Station in Easton Lane on August 14 last year, smashed the window with a rock and used a duvet cover to make off with tobacco worth £8,124.

Weeks later, again acting with an accomplice, Bryant targeted Portland Borstal Officers Club, where the pair stole £60 cash and eight packets of tobacco, and the Co-operative store in Easton Square, where alcohol worth £700 was taken.

Mr Ruffell said that stolen cars and motorcycles were used by the pair to make their getaway. In mitigation, Nicholas Robinson asked for the two later offences to be taken into consideration.

He told the court that Bryant, who has 37 previous convictions for 79 offences, simply wanted to live a ‘law-abiding life’.

Mr Robinson said: “He clearly is one of those people who most frustrate the court, he does not want to do the things that his record shows time and time again.

“But he has become institutionalised.”

He added: “He was released from prison in August last year with £47 in his pocket. He tried to get work but the answer he repeatedly got was ‘no’.”

Judge Roger Jarvis sentenced Bryant to 20 months in prison.

He said: “There are any number of victims of your behaviour, not only the victims of your crimes but your family are also victims.

“In a sense the lifestyle you have chosen has meant that you have not had the benefit of being out and enjoying the sorts of things the rest of us can.

“All of this because of the way you are consistently committing serious offences.”

He added: “I have at least some sense of relief in learning that you now appreciate you need to work hard to change your lifestyle.”

“Otherwise all you can look forward to is years and years in custody.”