A PROLIFIC thief who broke into a family home and stole from the room of a sleeping ten-year-old has been jailed for 32 months.

Sean Bray, pictured, pocketed a memento marking the child’s Holy Communion as he raided the home in Didcot Road, Southampton.

Winchester Crown Court was told that the 25-year-old then helped himself to the family’s belongings, mostly electronic goods, which were valued at more than £3,000. He then found keys to a Toyota Avensis which he drove off in.

Detectives later found fingerprints matching his on the window of the home and he was soon arrested, the court was told.

Police discovered Bray possessed an ipod and a stolen hire car that was taken from a neighbour.

Bray later confessed to stealing hundreds of pounds worth of goods from convenience shops in the Southampton area on 15 separate occasions between August and September.

He would steal items such as meat and cheese as well as every day laundry goods because they could be sold on quickly to feed his heroin addiction. The court heard how sometimes he just placed items in a basket before brazenly walking out.

David Storry, mitigating, said that his client was immature for his age and that addiction was behind his offending.

The court heard how Bray, of Howards Grove, Southampton, had 29 convictions for 107 offences mostly for dishonesty and had been out on licence while offending.

In all he pleaded guilty to 15 counts of shoplifting, one burglary, and two of handling stolen goods.

But Bray was not present when he was sentenced at the court because he refused to get on the bus from the city’s remand jail.

Judge Peter Henry said: “It is not appropriate for a prisoner to determine when he comes to court.”

Passing sentence he added: “Aggravating features were that one of the occupants was a ten-year-old child, that it happened at night and that he was on licence.

“He undoubtedly has drug issues and it’s sad always to see someone committing offences such as these.”