A BURGLAR who targeted homes in Amesbury and killed two fish belonging to his victims by emptying poison into a fish tank has been jailed.

Derby McGirr, 21, pleaded guilty to four burglaries at three homes and commercial premises belonging to RG Spiller Ltd, in April.

McGirr broke into an office at RG Spiller by smashing a window and stole electrical goods including computer monitors, a vacuum cleaner, a satnav and a microwave.

He also broke into properties in Fosters Bushes and Cadnam Crescent at night, where he stole televisions, game consoles and video cameras.

He also killed two fish belonging to one of the families by emptying a bottle of poisonous liquid into the tank.

Salisbury Crown Court heard on Friday McGirr stored the stolen goods at a house belonging to a vulnerable friend.

He also stole televisions, DVDs and jewellery from her home.

Thomas Evans, defending, said McGirr, who has appeared in court 25 times and has a long list of previous convictions, was thrown out of his home at the age of 15.

Mr Evans said McGirr has a drink problem and did have a significant drug problem between the ages of 13 and 16.

“He has shown some capacity for change, he has knocked drugs on the head and has a willingness to change with regards to drink issues,” he said. “All hope is not lost with this young man.”

Mr Evans said the offences were committed shortly after McGirr was released from prison, as he was “offered no support and he believed that his only recourse to survive was to steal”.

McGirr, of Pointers Way, Amesbury, was sentenced to two years and five months in prison.

Judge Andrew Barnett said: “People in their own houses are entitled to be protected, and their property, against people like yourself. At the age of 21 you have an appalling record, 25 court appearances and numerous previous offences for dwelling house burglaries.

“You must learn you simply cannot behave like this.”

DS Nigel Porter, from Wiltshire Police, said: “We are pleased with the sentence. Through detective work and the co-operation of victims we have managed to return the majority of the stolen property to the rightful owners. It is only right that McGirr has been dealt with and I hope that the victims feel justice has been served.”