Community leaders have today praised tough action from the courts after a heroin addict’s lifestyle of drugs and crime saw him being jailed for his 141st criminal offence.
Philip McKenna had already served time as a “three strikes burglar” but on release had returned to drugs and crime, Preston Crown Court was told.
And McKenna, of Lynn Grove, North Shore, was warned by a judge that he will face longer sentences if his offending continues.
Meanwhile, residents living near McKenna’s home have welcomed his jail sentence.
McKenna was sentenced to five years at his latest court appearance. He admitted offences of burglary and handling stolen goods.
McKenna, 38, broke into a house on Regency Gardens, Warbreck, in April.
Cecilia Pritchard, prosecuting, said a couple living there were away on holiday at the time.
A neighbour had heard noises coming from the property and went to investigate.
There were two men at the address – one was scaling a side fence, the other was fleeing from a side door and following the other man over the fence.
The neighbour could hear the burglar alarm and managed to get a good look at one of the fleeing men and later identified McKenna as being one of the pair.
Cuff links, a tie pin and some blood pressure medication was stolen from the property. McKenna made no comment to questions put to him in police interview.
He was allowed bail, but in May he was arrested for handling stolen goods.
A home on Cornwall Avenue, North Shore, had been burgled and car keys and a Volkswagen Golf stolen.
The car was found in a street close to where McKenna lived. He claimed the car had been given him by a man he didn’t want to name.
The defendant had 140 previous offences to his name, a number of them for burglary.
Paul Robinson, defending, said McKenna had struggled over the years with a heroin problem.
He agreed it was a depressing and familiar picture.
The defendant had not taken heroin for some time and was now clean of methadone as well.
A judge warned McKenna that if he carried on committing crime in future, his sentences will just get longer and longer.
Claremont ward Coun Sylvia Taylor said: “If somebody like this has been given a prison sentence for five years for prolific burglary, I am only too pleased.
“The police in Claremont do a brilliant job, it is not the easiest ward. We have a good community of people – hopefully this will take some of the strain from police.
“All I can say is if someone like that has been doing burglaries and is caught and sentenced they deserve time behind bars.”
Cathy Adams, deputy manager at Claremont First Step Community Centre said: “I am glad he has got as five years. He probably won’t serve it – he will be back out on the streets sooner than that to the detriment of Blackpool.
“People such as himself bring the town down. He is obviously a prolific offender.
“More than 140 offences – I think it is disgusting. They should be thrown out of Blackpool.”
Matt Hornby, community beat manager for Claremont ward, added: “Somebody clearly as prolific as this man in prison can only be a reassurance for the community. It can only be a good thing.”
He has a custodial sentence. It just goes to show the justice system does work and individuals like this can’t get away with what they are doing.
“It’s a positive impact for the local residents someone like that is where he should be.”