A PROLIFIC offender who burgled a Weymouth home as the occupants were moving in has been for more than two years.

Jason Herbert Baker, of Carlton Road North, Weymouth, was sentenced to 876 days in prison at Dorchester Crown Court after admitting a charge of burglary.

Prosecutor Heather Shimmen said the offence was committed at around 8.30pm on April 18, as a family were moving their belongings into a property in Ranelagh Road from a neighbouring house.

They had left the door of the property open as they moved items in and as she approached the property one of the family saw Baker leaving the premises carrying something.

It later emerged that a handbag containing an iPhone had been stolen.

Miss Shimmen said: “The matter was reported to police and about 10 minutes later officers saw the defendant.

“When appr-oached he initially ran off but after a short foot chase was detained by officers.”

She added that as Baker was restrained he dropped the iPhone that had been taken from the property.

Miss Shimmen said that the 37-year-old defendant had 45 previous convictions for a total of 110 offences including two previous domestic burglaries.

Tim Shorter, mitigating, said that Baker had entered his guilty plea at the earliest opportunity.

He said his client was currently undergoing psychiatric evaluation and it was clear he suffered from ‘some form of mental difficulty’.

Mr Shorter added: “At the time of this offence he was under the influence of prescribed drugs as well as alcohol.”

Judge Roger Jarvis conceded that there were some ‘peculiar circumstances’ surrounding the case but added that because it was Baker’s third dwelling burglary he was required by law to pass a lengthy custodial sentence.

The judge said: “I’m afraid the plain face of the matter is you are a third strike burglar and as a consequence I am obliged to pass a specific sentence on you.”