A JUDGE has lambasted a 'career criminal' over his sickening actions after he raided homes before burning sentimental items to cover up his tracks.

Drug addict Mark Lelli, of Glanville Gardens in Banbury, hung his head in shame as Judge Peter Ross jailed him for his 'campaign of burglaries.'

At Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday Judge Ross told Lelli: "People like you seem to think that people's homes are nothing more than bricks and mortar, the contents of which should be made available to criminals like you so you can get money to take drugs.

"Burglaries of people's homes are not just offences against property but are offences against people.

"Some of the property can never be recovered because you burned it.

"How callous is that? Burning in your garden photographs that you had stolen, that is sick."

Lelli, 35, burgled the home of David Vincent in Banbury on Sunday, December 11 last year, the court heard.

The three bedroom property is adapted for his wife's disability and Judge Ross told the court the family would have moved after the crime had it not been for the special adaptations.

The prosecution said on the night of December 11 the family had gone to bed at about 10pm and were only disturbed by their dog barking in the early hours of the morning.

Alongside almost £1,500 worth of cash, other items that were stolen include photographs of Mr Vincent's parents, which were then burned by Lelli at his home address along with other paper documents.

The family were able to track Lelli as he made his way throughout Banbury as a Find My iPhone app had been installed on an iPhone which was also stolen.

Merril Hughes, prosecuting, added: "In addition to the £1,500 worth of items that were stolen from the home the family has spent a further £2,000 to get their home secured."

Lelli had three previous convictions for burglary.

Adam Williams, defending, said the string of burglaries had happened to fund Lelli's drug habit after he was made homeless by his father.

He said: "He wished me to make clear to you that this was a difficult time in his life.

"This was to fund his drug taking.

"Since being clean in custody he is due to start a drugs course and now understands the effects of his drug use and the affects of his crimes on his victims.

"He expresses sincere remorse."

In January Lelli admitted one count of burglary and two counts of theft and also asked Judge Ross to take into consideration an additional 14 offences he had committed between Friday, October 21 and Tuesday, December 20 last year.

He was jailed for four years and nine months for burglary and two years for each count of theft to run concurrently.