A CARDIGAN man who burgled a flat while the occupier slept has been jailed for two and a half years.

Alex Thomas Smith, aged 23, admitted entering a flat in Priory Street and stealing a games controller and a pair of Tommy Hilfiger glasses.

Swansea crown court heard that Smith already had convictions for house burglaries and he was sentenced under the ‘three strikes and you're out’ rule.

Carina Hughes, prosecuting, said the occupier fell asleep on a sofa in the early hours of January 9.

He woke to find the back door was open but thought it was because of the wind.

Meanwhile, Smith had been arrested after police found him hiding behind a car.

Miss Hughes said the occupier awoke again and realised he had been burgled. When he notified the police they suspected Smith had been involved.

Officers went back to the scene of his arrest and found he had dumped the stolen items.

At first he denied being responsible for the break in but his fingerprints were found inside the kitchen of the property and on the games controller.

The judge, Mr Recorder Simon Mills, sentenced Smith, who has been in custody since his arrest and is officially of no fixed address, to 876 days in jail.

"These offences cause terrible distress to the victims. This was not just opportunistic, there must have been some planning.

"You made a pretty determined search of the place and afterwards told lie after lie.

"The court takes no pleasure in seeing a young man who has sunk to the depths of burgling people's homes at night," he said.