A BALACLAVA-CLAD burglar who smashed his way into a Morrisons supermarket was caught after police arrived within minutes and found him hiding under a till.

Shaun Dancey used a hammer to shatter a glass door before entering the store on Orb Drive, Newport, during the early hours of the morning.

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Prosecutor William Bebb said he had tried to steal scratch cards and vodka during the botched raid at around 4.20am on Sunday, September 19.

Dancey had returned to the same supermarket had broken into the previous day and made off with £36 bottles of Au vodka and customer parcels.

The 35-year-old defendant was also being sentenced for a burglary he committed at B&M on Newport, Cardiff, on September 8.

On that occasion, he stole detergent and wine worth nearly £666 and got in by smashing a glass door with a concrete paving slab.

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Prior to these burglaries, Dancey, a carpenter, had stolen from Cardiff builders’ merchants Hughes Forrest and Travis Perkins in May.

He had taken lengths of wood worth £300 and £210.90 respectively after driving into the yards of both businesses and making off without paying.

Dancey, of Elm Street Lane, Roath, Cardiff, pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary and two counts of theft.

He also admitted being in breach of a suspended jail sentence imposed in 2019 for burglary.

Newport Crown Court heard how the defendant had 25 previous convictions for 54 offences, including robbery and fraud.

Karl Williams, mitigating, said: “The defendant was a high earning carpenter before he started having problems with drugs following the breakdown of his marriage due to his wife’s adultery.”

His barrister told how his client had found himself homeless and began taking heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine.

Judge Richard Williams told Dancey: “These are particularly serious offences.

“You were wearing a balaclava, there was vandalism and you went equipped with a hammer.”

The defendant was jailed for four years and ordered to pay a victim surcharge following his release from prison.

Morrisons’ losses were in the thousands from the stock and damage he had caused.