A BURGLAR and thief who threatened a man while holding a hammer has been jailed for more than two years.

Neil James Kavanagh left victim Robert Harder "terrified" when he approached him at a cashpoint in Bournemouth and asked for money.

Following a verbal exchange, in which Kavanagh produced a hammer from his jacket pocket, the offender walked away and threw a can of beer against a building.

Kavanagh appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court for sentencing having previously pleaded guilty to affray in relation to the matter at The Triangle on October 31 last year.

Bournemouth Echo:

He was also sentenced for three burglaries, three thefts and an assault on a police officer.

Prosecutor Alec Williams told the court Mr Harder felt Kavanagh was "aggressive" and "frightful" in his demeanour.

When Mr Harder said he would not give him any money, the defendant produced the hammer out of his jacket pocket.

Mr Harder asked the 42-year-old what he was going to do with the weapon, to which Kavanagh responded by dropping the item on the ground.

"He then picks it up again and walks away from Mr Harder," said Mr Williams.

Kavanagh was arrested by officers further down the road.

Mr Williams said Mr Harder described feeling "threatened and truly scared", with the incident leaving him "extremely shocked and distressed".

While on bail, Kavanagh began a series of offending which would stretch to April this year.

On November 12 last year, alongside another man, he broke into Kala Thai in Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth.

Bournemouth Echo: Kala Thai in Old Christchurch, Bournemouth

"They primarily used items of furniture to smash windows of the premises, made their way in and found a till which had within it £1,200 in cash," said the prosecutor.

The till was ripped out and taken to a nearby car park where it was smashed open.

Two separate thefts of perfume from Boots in Bournemouth took place on January 4, with the total value of items taken said to be £692.

On February 27, the defendant was arrested having failed to attend court the previous day. He was found in possession of a bank card, which he had obtained by burgling Cremma cafe in Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth.

Having left the premises secure, the owners returned the next day and found the cash boxes had been emptied of £150 and a band card taken.

Kavanagh stole a £14 bottle of Glenfiddich whisky from Asda in Poole on March 30.

Four days later he committed a "classic smash and grab" burglary at Boots in Poole Road, Bournemouth.

"At approximately 5am two individuals, this defendant being one, are seen to be loitering outside Boots and then launching a kick towards the door with sufficient force that it smashes and a whole is created and they make their way in," said Mr Williams.

The burglars stole perfume but when officers were sent to the area they located Kavanagh, who had socks on his hands.

Mr Williams said: "When told to stop he assaults the officer by placing the arresting officer in a headlock."

Kavanagh, of West Hill Road, Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to affray, assaulting an emergency worker by beating them, three counts of non-dwelling burglary and three charges of theft from shops.

Mitigating, Aleks Lloyd said the defendant was "genuinely sorry" for what he had done, especially in relation to the affray involving Mr Harder.

He described his client's offending as a "deteriorating pattern of behaviour linked to his mental health and substance misuse".

In jailing Kavanagh for two years and two months, sentencing Judge Brian Forster QC said: "I must make sure the total sentence is appropriate to this offending in the defendant's circumstances."

He added: "There must be an immediate custodial sentence because of the repeat offending, the seriousness of the offences and the overall pattern that brings him before the court."

The judge said the defendant had made progress since the offending and that he hoped he can take further positive steps in his rehabilitation once he is released from prison.

"He has made a determined effort while in custody and I do take that into account," said Judge Forster.