Lostock Hall burglar wielded baseball bat at homeowner who caught him in the act
A burglar armed himself with a baseball bat after sneaking into a family's home has been jailed for three years and five months.
But parliamentary rules for criminals who commit offences on licence and receive a new prison term mean David Patel, 31, of Cuerden Way, Bamber Bridge, will serve it alongside his current prison licence recall period - meaning he will still be set free at his original release date in November 2021.
Judge Philip Parry said he was "not a fan" of the rule, adding: "Many would say you have effectively not been punished for this burglary, but it's not for the court to alter the effect of parliamentary legislation.
"You are a very happy beneficiary of the law."
On April 21 Patel, who has 60 offences on his record, entered a house on Highgale Gardens, Lostock Hall, at around 12.05am.
Prosecuting, Peter Barr said the owner, who had been watching TV, noticed his patio doors were open and heard someone "rummaging around" in the office.
He added: " He was confronted by the defendant who was carrying a baseball bat. The defendant raised the baseball bat and he grabbed a knife to defend himself. The defendant then ran through the kitchen out of the back door.
"It was pitch dark in the garden and he therefore decided not to follow the defendant any further."
Patel had stolen his son's £400 Invictus watch which was engraved for his 21st birthday, the baseball bat from his son's bedroom, a wallet and bank cards.
"A glove was found in someone else's garden and then he tried to use a stolen card at a Sainsburys."
Defending, Chris Hudson said: "It's a serious burglary, I don't shy away from that, and he has a significant record.
" He's got a most unfortunate background, which isn't really totally his fault.
"He is of Indian Welsh heritage. Unfortunately as a consequence of that he suffered significant bullying whilst at school, and describes eight years of difficult schooling and that affected his progress.
"When he was 13 his parents separated so that compounded the situation. Before his early teens he was abusing cannabis and moved on to cocaine abuse when he was 16.
"By his early 20s he was on crack cocaine, with no means of financing the habit, so recourse was to the twin evils of shoplifting and domestic burglary.
"The rationale for the commission of the offence was desperation. He wanted to get a tent and food. He instructed me to apologise for this burglary and contends he has now learnt his lesson."
Sentencing, Judge Philip Parry remarked he has a very sad and depressing history" of committing offences.
He added: "You would have received assistance in custody for your addictions... but it didn't slow you down regrettably.
"Less than one calendar month after your release from prison for a burglary you committed this one, and this was a serious example of a dwelling house burglary.
"You'd plainly gone out that evening intending to commit crime because you were wearing gloves and a facemask.
"That must have been terrifying to have seen."
Patel also admitted interfering with a car on Chain House Lane.