A PROLIFIC burglar threatened to stab a couple who confronted him as he was rummaging through their possessions.
Graham Smith, 34, broke into the Pied Bull hotel on Northgate Street and entered the room where the couple were sleeping.
Chester Crown Court heard yesterday the couple woke up and the man caught Smith going through his possessions and wrestled with him.
Smith then threatened to stab the man before escaping out of the window with his wallet and Rolex watch.
He was jailed for five years after pleading guilty to carrying out seven burglaries across Chester and Ellesmere Port throughout July and August.
Caroline Harris, prosecuting, said Smith was trying to raise funds to feed his drug problem. She said: “He used cocaine and heroin and had a chaotic lifestyle and stole things to fund this and buy food.”
Smith admitted breaking into and stealing electrical items worth £290 from a house on Talbot Street in Chester, stealing a Macbook Air worth £900, a white gold ring and cash from a house on West Street in Hoole, stealing a wallet with £200 in cash inside and a Rolex from a room in the Pied Bull, as well as another four burglaries on Mill Lane, Upton, Cambridge Road in Ellesmere Port, Bamburgh Court in Ellesmere Port and a second burglary at the Pied Bull.
The court was told he had a long history of offending including 33 theft or dishonesty offences. His last offence before this spate of burglaries was seven burglaries in 2010 for which he received three years in prison.
Andrew Tunnock, defending, described Smith as a “pathetic” man who had relapsed into offending five months after his release because he had started taking drugs again.
Judge Ian Trigger told Smith his offences were “cruel” and sentenced him to five years in prison and ordered him to pay £120 costs.
He said: “You entered a room in the Pied Bull hotel when visitors were staying - no doubt anticipating the delights of Chester. What they found was you looking through their luggage.
“You threatened to stab the male - he must have feared for himself and his wife and you stole from him.
“What drives you to this cruelty is an ingrained addiction to hard drugs but that is no consolation to the law abiding household.”