A TREE surgeon who burgled garages and sheds across Somerset over a four-year period has been jailed.

Stephen Holcombe, 54, broke into so many outhouses that whenever there was a spate of raids, police would check his home, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Holcombe, now of Beadon Road, Taunton, but formerly of Till Close, Bridgwater, was jailed for three years after he made a series of mistakes including leaving blood at the scene of a break-in and his DNA on a cigarette butt.

He previously admitted seven burglaries and asked for 13 similar offences to be considered.

Nicholas Fridd, defending, said Holcombe’s attempts to give up crime and make a living as a tree surgeon had been disrupted because police kept coming to interview him whenever there was a spate of shed thefts.