A MAN who had been burgling for over 30 years was caught after being involved in another break-in during the early hours of Monday.

Blackburn magistrates heard Craig Grant and another man were caught on CCTV after breaking into a bar on Northgate and removing bottles of spirits with an estimated value of £1,200.

The haul included several bottles of charity gin from the mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Cllr Jim Shorrock, who made an appeal for the culprit to be caught. The court was told Grant was on bail for burglary, theft and assault offences at the time.

Grant, 47, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to burglary at the Shh!Bar, theft of a pair of glasses from a Blackburn opticians and assaulting a member of staff who tried to stop him and burglary at the Subway shop on Railway Road and theft of a till and a charity box.

He was committed in custody to Preston Crown Court to be sentenced after the magistrates ruled their powers of punishment were not sufficient.

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said Grant had been arrested and released on bail following the incident at the opticians in April.

The offence at Subway was committed in June and CCTV showed someone breaking a window at 1am. At 4.30am two men entered through the broken window and took the till containing £100 and the charity box containing about £30.

“He was on two lots of bail and subject to a curfew when the offence at the Shh! Bar was committed,” said Mr Robinson.

“The manager came in on Monday and found the fire exit door open and three holes in the ceiling which seemed to have been used to access the building. The defendant has been committing offences like this for over 30 years.”

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Aftab Bakhat, defending, said: "He is in a vicious cycle of offending, prison, release and offending. His life is stalled and he offends to survive.”