A SERIAL criminal who started using drugs at the age of eight has been put behind bars for his 118th offence.
Kevin Thoburn has a long history of breaking into small businesses to get his hands on cash to support his habit.
On February 23, he stole a week’s worth of taking – more than £2,500 – after raiding Marshall’s the Bakers at Avondale Avenue in Penshaw by crawling in through an air shaft.
The 32-year-old’s long criminal record includes convictions for 73 previous break-ins, thefts and scams.
Prosecutor Emma Dowling told the court: “Many are burglaries of similar premises where cash is targeted.
“Many are similar premises in Houghton and Penshaw, hence he was always going to be number one of the police target list.”
Thoburn, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to burglary.
Bob Spragg, defending, said Thoburn is in the grip of a destructive spiral he cannot get out of.
Mr Spragg said: “He started using substances at the age of eight and he has not been able to stop since.
“He commits crimes to try and pay off the debts, it’s a rather tragic tale, it is a spiral he just doesn’t seem to be able to break out of.”
Judge Jeremy Freedman sentenced Thoburn to a year behind bars.
The judge told him: “You deserve sympathy to have had such a difficult time as a young person and it has clearly had a massive impact upon your ability to function as an adult.
“Nebertheless, you are not entitled to behave in the way you did.
“It seems to me you pose a serious threat to the community in terms of acquisitive crime.
“There is a very high risk of re-offending.
“Each time you do this, the sentences are going to get longer.”