A prolific offender who stole items worth more than £20,000 from garages and cars around Norwich - and who asked for a further 100 offences to be taken into consideration - has been jailed.

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Robin Lister, 43, of Swaffield Street, Bowthorpe, admitted stealing a £1400 mountain bike from a garage in Thorpe Marriott and also handling stolen goods from a burglary, also in Thorpe Marriott, in which a handbag and jewellery was taken.

The defendant also pleaded guilty to possession of amphetamine with intent to supply. The drugs which had a street value of £750 were found in the fridge of his home in Bowthorpe.

Norwich Crown Court heard Lister, who was addicted to amphetamine, wanted to wipe the slate clean for the sake of his family and asked for a catalogue of other offences - including thefts from cars and garages - dating back to 2007 to be considered.

Jailing him for 21 months, Judge Mark Lucraft, told him he had an long record of offending but accepted he wanted to make a fresh start. He said: “You have indicated you want to put the past behind you. It is now up to you.”

Speaking after the case temporary superintendent Carl Edwards, Broadland Policing Commander, welcomed the sentence. He said: “These burglaries represent a lot of misery caused to the communities of Norwich and Broadland. We’re pleased that the court has seen fit to impose a lengthy custodial sentence to protect the public. It’s positive that Lister has taken responsibility for all of these offences and we hope that while in prison he will take time to reflect on what he has done and change his behaviour when he is released.”

Kevin Eastwick, prosecuting, said that the estimated benefit of his offending was put at £20,297, although he said the only assets Lister had were worth about £820, which Mr Eastwick asked to be confiscated.

Mr Eastwick said that Lister had told police about a number of offences he had committed which police say without his co-operation would never have been solved.

He said that Lister had been an “opportunistic” offender and many of the offences involved him walking around Norwich streets and stealing items from garages or unsecured cars.

“Many of these date back to 2007 and police say they would never been able to solve them without the assistance the defendant has given them. His method was to walk the streets trying car doors to see if they were unlocked and trying garage doors and stealing anything that might present itself.”

Michael Clare, for Lister, said: “He is man with a raging amphetamine habit and funds it by selling drugs and committing many offences of dishonesty.”

He said that Lister was now realising it was affecting his health as he had suffered strokes as a result of his drug habit. He said Lister was now drug free and wanting to make a fresh start for the sake of his family.

“His main thought is to clear the slate and when he emerges from custody he knows he cannot be arrested for anything else. He has cleared his slate.”

Have you got a crime story? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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