A CRIMINAL who has spent just nine months of the last 17 years out of prison has been locked up again for trying to break into a house.
Teesside Crown Court was told Alan Bates, 33, has been addicted to drugs since he was 13-years-old.
He has a lengthy record of 123 crimes, including 16 house burglaries or attempted break-ins.
Bates was jailed again for 16 weeks after he was caught trying to break into an empty house in Jesmond Gardens, Hartlepool, on October 23 last year.
A glass panel in the back door of the property had been smashed and Bates was arrested after he was seen acting suspiciously nearby.
Pieces of glass were found on his clothes when they were analysed and he later admitted attempted burglary.
The court heard Bates, of Fulthorpe Avenue, Hartlepool, has served lengthy prison terms for burglary ranging up to four years.
His barrister Joseph Spencer said his client was introduced to heroin at 13, adding: “He quickly became addicted to the drug.
“His drug use got out of control and he has been addicted to heroin ever since.
“He has been in and out of prison for most of his life. He believes that out of the last 17 years he has spent about nine months out of prison.”
Mr Spencer added there has been some signs of progress in tackling his addiction and said the house was unoccupied and Bates caused little damage.
Sentencing, Recorder Toby Hedworth QC said: “Because of your dreadful record, particularly in relation to dwelling houses where houses have been previously burgled or attempt burglaries, it has to be immediate custody.”