A CAREER burglar who stole a Worcester hospital porter's bike and attempted to raid a city nursery was so desperate to escape police he jumped out of a window.

Nicholas Dutfield, who has what the judge called an 'appalling record', even tried to break into a Worcester nursery but was thwarted by security features and ultimately detained thanks to an observant off-duty officer who saw him stealing a sandwich at Aldi.

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The 50-year-old admitted burglaries at two Worcester gyms, stealing a push bike from a locked shed at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester and even stealing items from a city Aldi store before he was caught and arrested on October 11 this year.

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Judge James Burbidge jailed Dutfield for 23 months at Worcester Crown Court on Friday, referring to the theft of the hospital porter's bike as a 'mean offence', depriving the worker of his means of transport for a month and half before it was reunited with its owner when Dutfield jumped from a window in a flat in All Saints Road as he fled police and went on the run.

The theft of the bike from a locked shed at the hospital occurred on May 24 this year, the owner putting out an appeal on Facebook. The bike was recovered on August 19 this year.

Rachel Pennington, prosecuting, said: "He jumped out of the window of the flat."

An appeal by West Mercia Police meant the bike - a black Carrera - was returned to its rightful owner.

On July 3 this year Dutfield broke into Blueprint gym in Weir Lane in Worcester, smashing a groundfloor window and stealing cash, a laptop and a digital camera valued at £1,664. Cell site analysis was used to collar Dutfield - his mobile phone placing him at the scene at the relevant time.

An attempted burglary happened at the Wishing Well Nursery in Worcester a few days later on July 9.

Miss Pennington said: "There were numerous tool markings on the outside of the door. It looked as if a crowbar had been used to force the door open."

However, three deadlocks prevented him gaining entry.

Dutfield was responsible for another burglary at Fit3Sixty in the Shrub Hill Industrial Estate on October 6 this year. Again a crowbar had been used to gain entry. A wooden pole found outside had been used to smash the window. A Ring doorbell had captured Dutfield's face before he could disable the device.

Dutfield was finally arrested by an off-duty police officer on October 11. The officer had seen Dutfield's face at an earlier police briefing and was aware he was wanted.

At the supermarket he saw Dutfield pass the tills without offering payment for a sandwich. Dutfield also stole a can of coke and a chocolate bar.

Dutfield of Wyld's Lane, Worcester has 40 convictions for 175 offences - 135 theft and 'kindred offences' including 'a substantial number of non-dwelling burglaries' (10 such burglaries). It was considered an aggravating feature that Dutfield was on licence at the time of these offences following a 20 month prison sentence imposed on August 28 last year.

A further aggravating feature was that 'he evaded arrest by going out of the window'.