A CAREER burglar who stole more than £5,200 during three night raids on Worcester businesses stormed off when he received his longest ever jail term.

James Marson was so angry about his four-and-a-half-year jail sentence he rushed out of the booth at HMP Hewell, walking off before the judge had finished speaking to him over the videolink.

The Recorder of Worcester, Judge Robert Juckes QC, also banned the 41-year-old from the city centre overnight for eight years as part of an extended criminal behaviour order imposed at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday.

Marson, a former drug addict, admitted all three burglaries, stealing a total of £5,213 from city centre businesses. He raided VIP Beauty in Shaw Street and Be the Change Foods in the Corn Market on March 1 this year and the Burger Shop in Cherry Tree Walk on July 21.

Marson, who has 45 previous convictions for 96 offences, also admitted being in possession of two class C drugs - Subutex and Tramadol.

Marson, who has spent time homeless, has 17 sets of convictions for commercial burglary alone and 16 theft or 'kindred offences' on his record. The longest sentence he had served up until this one was just16 months in prison for six burglaries and possession of class A drugs, imposed on May 9, 2016. By his actions he also admitted being in flagrant breach of an existing criminal behaviour order designed to protect the businesses in Worcester city centre.

Under the terms of this order, imposed on September 9, 2017, he was banned from Worcester city centre between 9pm and 7am and prohibited from entering any business outside its opening hours.He sighed, muttered, shook his head, folded his arms and stared down at the table during the hearing and even argued with his own defence advocate, claiming he had 'no confidence' in her.

Abi Grimshaw, owner of VIP Beauty, arrived to find blood and plasterboard all over the floor after Marson broke in through the skylight, causing £3,000 of damage.

The 22-year-old said after the court hearing that when she arrived she feared the burglar was still inside her shop, calling her mum from her car who in turn called the police.

"I had to throw away anything that had been in contact with his blood. I don't think I have ever bleached the floor quite so many times. I threw out all my towels," she said.

However, all Marson stole was the tip jar containing £1.85 as Miss Grimshaw never keeps her takings on the premises overnight.

She welcomed the sentence, telling the Worcester News: "It's longer than I thought he was going to get."

Miss Grimshaw has yet to get the defendant's letter of apology but would love to receive one. It was said in court that Marson had written letters of apology to all three businesses and had wanted a face-to-face meeting as part of restorative justice. Miss Grimshaw said she would be willing to meet him.

"I would like to know why to be honest. All the businesses he goes for are local" she said.

After the burglary she did not like being at work on her own and reacted every time she heard a seagull on the roof. She had to shut the business for three to four days and rebuild her customer base after the break-in.

"Financially that was a big hit for me" said Miss Grimshaw who only opened the business in August last year.

Marson also smashed a toilet window but could not get in because of bars on the window. Blood at the scene was a DNA match for Marson.

On the same evening Marson also raided a vegan shop known as Be The Change Foods, also left locked and secure.

Staff returned the following morning at 7am, discovering that takings of £2,500 and a t-shirt worth £12 had been stolen. They lost trade for four hours as a result, costing £100 and Marson caused £165 damage breaking in.

Amanda O'Mara, prosecuting, said: "They're small independent businesses in Worcester city centre so there is a loss greater to them than a national chain."

Marson was arrested on March 2, found with £1,099.38 and recalled to prison.

Released on July 5, Marson burgled the Burger Shop on July 21.

The venue was locked up at 2am. When staff returned at 10am they noticed the power was off and £2,700 in cash taken from the safe

Officers received information Marson was near Asda in Worcester on August 3 but he ran from police.

Miss O'Mara said: "They followed after him down an alleyway, completed a search of the area and found Mr Marson hiding in some undergrowth at the end of a short pathway."

The owner at the Burger Bar said in a statement they found it 'disgusting' that someone could break into the business and steal the 'what we have worked hard to earn'.

Caroline Harris, defending, said: "His problem historically has been addiction to class A drugs. That addiction has been the route of his offending."

Marson had also hoped to meet 'those he had wronged' and engage in restorative justice but Miss Harris conceded that 'for someone with his record that type of opportunity is unlikely'.

Marson claimed the money found on him from his later mother's estate. However, he did not contest it being confiscated.

Marson, who describes himself as 'the black sheep of the family', is now clean of drugs.

Judge Robert Juckes QC said: "We're dealing with relatively small sums but very significant sums for the type of business that has suffered the loss."

The judge described the burglaries as 'fairly professional' and said the owners of the businesses may well regard the defendant's letters with 'a degree of cynicism'.

He said he was aware of cases where the insurance paid by businesses have become too expensive because of repeated criminal activity and where people have even had to sleep at their business with an effect upon their health and marriages.

Marson was also ordered to pay a criminal charge of £170 and compensation to the Burger Shop and Be the Change Foods of £548.76 each and £1.85 to the owner of VIP Beauty.