Burglar is denied a shorter sentence
A heroin addict who burgled homes for jewellery to fund his drug habit has failed in a bid to have his six-year sentence reduced.
David Taylor targeted temporarily empty houses in a week-long blitz across Ballymena, Co Antrim, in June 2013.
The 34-year-old, who lived in the town at the time, pleaded guilty to three of eight burglary counts and a further charge of possessing cannabis.
His lawyers mounted an appeal against the three-year jail term, followed by a further three on licence, imposed for the break-ins and other outstanding suspended sentences.
Taylor was identified after selling some of the stolen belongings at a pawn shop.
He had committed his first burglaries as a teenager, developing a criminal record connected to his drug taking, the Court of Appeal heard. Previous offences involved raids on commercial premises and private dwellings.
He later became a regular heroin user, committing crime to fund his drug lifestyle.
Rejecting claims that the six-year term was manifestly excessive, Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan said: "A deterrent sentence was required in this case."
It was also claimed there had been a disparity in the treatment of Taylor and a co-accused who received a suspended 18-month sentence.
Sir Declan identified marked differences between them, describing how the other man was a hopeless alcoholic who "became entangled in this operation by the offer of alcohol".
The judge added: "The appellant was sentenced on the basis that he was a professional burglar."