A SERIAL criminal with 50 convictions for thefts and burglaries has been jailed after targetting three Southampton businesses.

Damon Dixon also entered another business, stole an employee’s purse and used the victim’s bank card on food items – including a custard slice.

At Southampton Crown Court, Dixon was jailed for three-and-a-half years.

The court was told how the 32-year-old’s string of offences began on May 26 when he unsuccessfully attempted to break into Equinox Barbers on Oxford Street.

Then, on June 23, Dixon broke into an orthodontic clinic in Bedford Place and stole money.

He later returned to burgle a Slimming Clinic in the same building.

Prosecutor Dawn Hyland said Dixon stole a number of slimming supplements from the business.

Then on July 30, the court heard Dixon targeted Ultrasound Direct, also known as Babybond, in Bedford Place.

Ms Hyland said Dixon entered the store, stole a purse from an employee’s handbag and left.

She said Dixon used the victim’s contactless bank card to carry out a £6 purchase at a nearby cafe, before spending £10 at Tesco.

In mitigation, barrister Lucy Conroy told the court that her client had recently been released from prison, did not have access to benefits at the time and had used the bank cards to purchase food.

She said: “He used the bank cards in a cafe to buy and sausage sandwich and a drink and in Tesco to buy bacon, a coffee and a custard slice.”

Ms Conroy added that Dixon had “complex” mental health issues, including schizophrenia, which was compounded by his use of illegal drugs.

Alongside two counts of burglary, one count of attempted burglary, and two counts of bank card fraud, Dixon also pleaded guilty to breaching a suspended sentence and community order.

He also asked the court to take 13 other offences, including other burglaries, into account – which the court accepted.

Judge Christopher Parker QC sentenced Dixon, of Southcliffe Road, Southampton, to a total of 44 months in prison.