A prolific criminal who prefers being in prison because he “gets a roof over his head, free meals and access to education” has been sentenced to almost six years in jail.
Stephen Negus, aged 21, was caught with a bag containing a large quantity of crack cocaine and heroin after he was stopped by a plain clothes police officer in St Mary’s Street in Northampton on December 10 last year.
Officers also seized £176 cash and a mobile phone containing details of a number of drug deals.
Although Negus was released on bail, he was then part of a gang who committed a burglary at a property in Rothwell in the early hours of March 21.
The court heard a couple were awoken at 3.40am after they heard their dog barking.
The homeowner went downstairs and saw a man with a scarf round his face and another with his hood up, standing in the road.
Two iPads, an iPhone, £200 cash and a purse were stolen from the house.
Adrian Harris, prosecuting, said Negus was arrested after police were called to the scene and he was detained after he “did not run away”.
The court heard Negus, of Pembroke Road, Northampton, was a prolific offender who had committed 43 offences, including three burglaries.
In March 2015 Negus had been sentenced to two years in prison after he admitted burgling a house in Kingsthorpe.
Liam Muir, mitigating, said his client had grown up with a “lack of stability” for the majority of his life and, as a result, “lacked maturity”.
Mr Muir said: “It is a sad indictment of the system that in some ways he prefers being in prison as he gets a roof over his head, free meals and access to education.”
Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking said Negus had a “very significant” criminal record for such a young man.
She said: “The system is never going to fix your past. You need to decide what you need to do to change your future.”
Judge Lucking sentenced Negus, who pleaded guilty to all offences, to three years and four months in prison for possessing class A drugs with intent.
He was also sentenced to two years and four months in jail for burglary, to be served consecutively.