A MAN who burgled a Pontypool home while on bail for stealing a car and crashing it after being chased by police has been jailed.

Nathan Butler, 23, had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of dwelling burglaries and one count of dangerous driving at a hearing in May.

Butler, of Pentre in Rhondda, admitted six other dwelling burglaries, two separate counts of burglary, and five counts of theft at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday. These offences, which took place between November 2007 and May this year, were not detailed in court but were considered when Judge Neil Bidder QC sentenced the defendant to a total of three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.

The court heard how, on April 30 this year, Butler went into the porch of a house on Lewis Street, Pentre, and stole car keys belonging to the occupants’ daughter, who lived next door.

The occupants did not realise their house had been burgled until they noticed the Saab 93 was gone from outside.

Police later tracked down the car just before 2am the following day. In a 30mph zone, the defendant gathered speed up to 80mph before eventually crashing into a wall on Baglan Street.

Following this incident, while on bail, the defendant committed a further dwelling burglary on May 17.

Butler broke into a house on Hill Street in Pontypool and stole jewellery - most of which belonged to the occupant’s late wife.

Prosecuting, Julian Greenwood said the incident had caused the victim a “great deal of distress”, not least as the only item not to be recovered was a wedding ring belonging to his wife, who died around two years ago.

Sentencing Butler, Mr Bidder added: “You burgled an occupied dwelling at night but fortunately the occupants did not notice it was a burglary. You stole keys and took a Saab motor vehicle, and when police spotted you, you drove at grossly excessive speed to avoid apprehension. It was a very serious offence of dangerous driving.”