A BURGLAR who broke in to two houses in the same Salisbury road and then offered to pay a friend to take the blame has been jailed for 18 months.

Dale Troy Read, 22, burgled two houses in Donaldson Road in August last year and stole items including a mobile phone, tablet computer, camera and an ornamental dagger.

He then told police his fingerprint was only found in one of the properties because he went there to take his friend away from the scene.

The friend initially told police the same story, with the promise of payment from Read, but later told the truth when he realised the seriousness of the allegations.

At the time of the burglaries, Read was subject to a suspended sentence order which he was given in April last year for kidnapping his girlfriend and holding a knife to her face.

Tim Cosham, defending, said: “At the time these offences were committed he was dealing with serious depression and self medicating with drink and drugs.”

Mr Cosham said Read had made changes in his life to address his problems and was holding down two jobs, and urged Judge Jane Miller to further suspend a prison sentence.

But Judge Miller said: “You came before me in Salisbury last year for what eventually became kidnapping. “Your girlfriend was subject to a considerable amount of violence when you became angry; it was a thoroughly terrifying incident that I sentence you for.

“I told you in no uncertain terms that if you were in trouble again in the next 24 months you would go to prison. Only four months later, you got yourself into such a state through drink and drugs you burgled two houses.”

Read, of Devizes Road, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for burglary, perverting the course of justice, possession of cannabis and breaching a suspended sentence order.

Investigating officer DC Sarah Chaplin of Wiltshire Police said: “The victims were understandably distressed that someone had broken into their homes while they were asleep. Although the value of the items stolen was not excessive, the fact that they were made to feel unsafe in their own homes brings a great deal of stress and anxiety.

“We are pleased with the sentence imposed today which recognises the impact Dale Read had on the victims.”