A BURGLAR who loaded jewellery and computer equipment into pillowcases and plastic bags during a raid at a Poole home has told a judge: "Without abstinence, I can't see a future for myself."

Barry Hughes broke into a detached four-bed property in Symes Road through a small utility room window.

During the burglary, which happened on February 28, the 42-year-old made a "tidy search" before leaving with five rings, five necklaces, 12 pairs of earrings, a bracelet, three watches, a laptop, an iPhone, a Kindle and a purse.

Hughes was spotted by a neighbour leaving the property. He was later captured on CCTV selling two of the rings at a pawn shop. The rest of the stolen items have not been recovered.

On Friday, Hughes, who lives in South Haven Close, Poole, appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court to be sentenced for the burglary.

The court heard he is a third-strike dwelling burglar, meaning he must be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment.

Stuart Ellacott, prosecuting, said items worth a "not insignificant sum" were taken.

"Having been arrested on March 3, the defendant's phone was also recovered, in which there were various text messages which seemed to relate to trying to sell the other items, including the Kindle and some jewellery," Mr Ellacott said.

Robert Grey, mitigating, said the defendant is taking a series of courses in custody.

"He has had problems with alcohol - heroin and Valium mixed with alcohol," the barrister said.

The defendant read aloud a prepared statement to the court. He said: "The only choice I have is complete abstinence, which I'm working towards for now, and forever.

"Abstinence, or the lack of it, is why I caused so much trouble. It's through drugs and drink.

"Without abstinence I can't see a future for myself."

Hughes was sentenced to 876 days in prison - the mandatory three-year sentence less 20 per cent for an early guilty plea.