A BURGLAR targeted four homes and a student accommodation building in 72 hours in an 'unstoppable cycle of offending’.

Michael Tambling snatched high value and sentimental belongings throughout the spree, and left homeowners and their children “terrified”.

Described as a "career burglar", Tambling, 52, committed his latest offences just days after his release from prison, having served time for other ‘dishonesty offences’.

Prosecutor Colin Witcher said the defendant first stole from a student building, in Vale Road, which he accessed through an unlocked rear door on October 21.

He entered two bedrooms, and stole electronic and household items valued at around £700.

One student was in at the time, but was unaware of Tambling’s presence, Mr Witcher said.

That evening, Tambling gained access to a ground floor flat in Richmond Park Road, by climbing through the window of a young child’s bedroom.

After leaving “mud on the cot”, he rummaged through rooms and snatched items to a value of around £70, including electronics, jewellery, a pint of milk and a bottle of rum.

While no one was in at the time, the homeowner said her child now fears ‘the bad guy’.

On the evening of Sunday, October 22, Tambling was seen acting suspiciously in the area of Southcote Road.

The next morning, on Monday, October 23, he was caught trying to access the doors of two adjacent properties in the road, but failed.

Later that day, he climbed the fence of another property in Southcote Road, and went into the back garden with a torch, but left after being spotted by the homeowner.

Tambling was linked to all of the offences through CCTV, ring doorbell footage, DNA and fingerprints.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary, three counts of attempted burglary, and one attempt of going equipped for burglary.

The defendant appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court on Thursday, February 8, to be sentenced for these offences.

The court heard how he had 61 previous convictions for 144 offences.

Mitigating, Tom Evans noted his client’s “chronic heroin and crack cocaine addiction" had "triggered much of his dishonesty as an adult”.

Mr Evans said Tambling did have a period of sobriety, but relapsed after witnessing a murder in the Bournemouth hostel he was staying in during December of 2022.

He told the court: “He assures me he is not using now. He is a 52 year old man who realises he is too old, and he needs to turn his life around, or it’s going to mean stays in prison or ultimately death.

“The only chance he has is to beat his addiction.”

Summarising, Judge Jonathan Fuller KC said: “Your first burglary was in 1986 and you have been committing them ever since.

“You are in short, a career burglar, and your record shows that you are unable or unwilling to respond to non-custodial options and rehabilitate yourself.

“Nothing seems to deter you Mr Tambling.

“The slim hope is that without access to drugs you will commence some sort of rehabilitation in prison.”

Tambling, of Pottery Lane in Weymouth, was sentenced to five years in prison.

Judge Fuller KC said the sentence would “protect the public from [Tambling’s] repeat and unstoppable offending”.