Page last updated at 19:50 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 20:50 UK

Eight years for prolific burglar

Peter O'Halloran
O'Halloran has spent many years in prison

A burglar who admitted more than 40 offences, mainly at country houses across the country, has been jailed for eight years at Gloucester Crown Court.

Peter O'Halloran, 34, of no fixed abode, was the subject of a nationwide search by a number of police forces and was featured on Crimewatch.

He was caught when Surrey Police found him at a London hotel in February.

The two-year hunt for him was co-ordinated by detectives from Gloucestershire Police.

In one raid he targeted the Grade I-listed home of Lord and Lady Fairhaven, near Newmarket in Suffolk, and stole antiques and horse-racing memorabilia.

Stayed in hotels

On Wednesday, O'Halloran admitted nine burglaries and one money-laundering charge and asked for 39 other burglaries to be taken into consideration.

The prosecution said he had netted up to £750,000 during his burglary spree, which followed his release from prison in January 2006.

He targeted stately homes and moved around the country regularly, staying in hotels.

He was described by the Judge as an "incorrigible and persistent" burglar.

Among the burglaries were offences in Cirencester, Gloucestershire; Newmarket, Suffolk; and a large number in various parts of Surrey, including Esher, Witley, Dunsfold and Shamley Green.

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