A QUICK-THINKING councillor helped police snare a prolific burglar who broke into his home.

When Trevor Byford’s Westcliff home was raided and his iPad stolen, he decided to switch on the Find My iPad app to try to trace the device.

The GPS signal showed the iPad was at Canvey’s Thorney Bay caravan park and he called police.

Officers arrested 40-year-old Christopher Hoy at the park. At Basildon Crown Court, he was jailed for three years.

Southend councillor Mr Byford said the break-in had caused him to have sleepless nights. He said: “I live in a prison since the burglary.

The doors are locked all the time, evenwhen I amat home. We triple lock everything at night and have a dog. In the nights after the burglary, I set my alarm to go off every 45 minutes, so I could check nobody was in the house.”

Mr Byford spoke after a judge sentenced Hoy for aggravated vehicle taking and two counts of burglary.

The court heard Hoy had convictions dating to 1990 for burglary, handling stolen goods, attempted burglary, taking a vehicle without consent and possessing class A drugs.

Hoy broke into Mr Byford’s house between 2am and 5am on October 12 and stole the iPad.

In the same month, Hoy also broke into a house in Lymington Avenue, Leigh.

The victims went to bed at 9.30pm, but when they got up at 7.30am, they found a wallet, cash and car keys had been taken and a black 13 plate Mini had been stolen from the driveway. The car was recovered a short distance away.

The court also heard Hoy, who was born in Liverpool, had a history of drug use and depression.

There was a ten-year gap in his offending while he was working as a drug rehabilitation worker in Devon.

But the court was told he returned to a life of crime after suffering two bereavements and the breakdown of his marriage.

Hoy had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing. Judge John Lodge, said: “These offences were committed while the occupier was at home. You are a burglar who went back to your old ways and you knewwhat you were doing.”