A serial knicker thief has been jailed after being caught red handed inside a house as he searched for underwear. Carl Nicholson went out stealing just five days after he was freed on a suspended sentence for previous burglaries carried out to feed his obsession with women's clothing.
He was jailed for four and a half years after a judge told him he had wasted his last chance to reform and had let down all those who had tried to help him.Nicholson, aged 44, has more than 120 convictions for stealing underwear from homes or washing lines and 45 for burglary.
He was arrested after being disturbed by the occupant of a home in Exmouth, Devon, as he searched for items to steal, Exeter Crown Court was told.
Nicholson, of no fixed abode and previously of Exmouth, admitted burglary and was jailed for 30 months by Judge Erik Salomonsen, who also activated the two year suspended sentence, making a total of four and a half years.
He told him:"You have a very long record for burglary. You were given a chance last time and you have let down those who tried to help you."
Mr David Bowen, prosecuting, said Nicholson received the suspended sentence for burglary on August 28 last year and was arrested after being disturbed during a burglary in Exmouth on September 2.
He had entered a house which he believed to be empty at around 10.45am but a friend of the owner was sleeping on a sofa and awoke to find the intruder. Mr Richard Crabb, defending, said Nicholson was a persistent rather than a professional burglar who remains keen to address the problems which have led to his offending.
Nicholson was once arrested in a pub while wearing a red basque he had stolen.
On that occasion he had only been out of jail for three weeks after ending a four year sentence for identical offences.