A prolific burglar who targeted service stations and other commercial sites where he could steal cigarettes has been jailed.

Joshua O’Gorman, 34, of no fixed address, appeared on Tuesday 5 February at Leicester Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary.

He was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment.

The burglaries were committed over a two-month period last year and in each instance a large quantity of cigarettes were stolen.

Leicestershire Police said a considerable amount of damage was caused to the premises targeted by O’Gorman and the cost of the damage, when added to the value of the stock that was taken, resulted in huge losses to the victims. The total value of the stock stolen in the burglaries was £11,500.

In the first burglary, at around 2.20am on 25 May, shutters were forced open at a BP garage on Shaw Lane in Markfield. O’Gorman entered the premises and used an implement to prise open a cabinet containing cigarettes.

Two other men involved in this incident pleaded guilty in June to this burglary and two further counts of burglary and were sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.

Regardless of his two co-defendants being in custody, O’Gorman continued to commit burglary.

In the early hours of 7 June, he prised open the shutters of a shop in Barbara Avenue in Leicester. Once again damage was caused to the premises and a large quantity of cigarettes and alcohol was taken.

On 21 June, at a service station in Dorset Road, Wigston, O’Gorman smashed a window allowing himself entry to the property.

He was arrested in September when officers responding to an incident in Saffron Hill Road caught O’Gorman after he fled the scene.

Detective Constable Mike Archer, was part of the investigation team. He said: “O’Gorman deliberately targeted kiosks inside commercial premises.

“He was a prolific burglar who thought nothing of causing damage to premises and stealing vast amounts of cigarettes, regardless of the cost to the business owner.

“I hope this outcome will reassure those inconvenienced by Gorman’s criminality that justice has been done.

“This result should send a stark warning to others considering carrying out similar crimes that we will stop at nothing to bring to justice those who commit offences within our communities.”