A BURGLAR with a “terrible record” who stole a Mini Cooper from a home has been jailed for three years and four months.

Michael Brown was told by Judge Niclas Parry that “his pre-planned visit from outside the area” had a significant impact on a family and a widow whose properties he broke into.

Brown burgled Martin Edwards’ home in Brookhouse Road, Denbigh, stealing a wallet and car keys belonging to the homeowner who woke to find his Mini had been taken.

A next-door neighbour’s garage was also searched by Brown, although nothing was taken.

But Mr Edwards’ bank cards were used later to make three payments at two service station garages on the M56 and one near Chester with CCTV footage showing Brown making the purchases.

Brown was seen with his half-sister, Carla Carron, on CCTV going into one of the service stations.

Ms Carron, 36, of Tattenhall, near Chester, was cleared of burglary and theft charges by a jury after a trial last month.

She insisted she only gave her half-brother a lift from Cheshire to Denbigh and had no knowledge he was intending to commit offences.

Brown, 40, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and three counts of fraud on February 13.

Barrister Simon Mintz, prosecuting, said: “He (Brown) claimed it was an opportunist enterprise, but he used his sister’s car to drive in a convoy to drop off the stolen car so it could be sold.

“He split the money for the Mini which he sold for £1,200, but he refused to identify the purchaser of the stolen vehicle.”

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the owner of the Mini said he now felt unsafe in his own home, while his neighbour said she was “mentally shaky” because of the burglary.

Mold Crown Court heard how Brown had come in front of courts on 102 previous occasions, including when receiving 15 convictions for house burglaries.

Defence counsel Robin Boag said: “He (Brown) owned up to his offences in interview.

"Drugs have been a long-standing problem although he has taken some steps to address the matter.

"Regrettably he is a man who has spent a large part of his life behind bars.”