Bury burglar back in jail despite Christmas card vow

Image caption,
Tommy Rouse has spent nine Christmases behind bars

A burglar who fronted a Greater Manchester Police campaign urging offenders to stay out of prison this Christmas has been sent back to jail.

Earlier this month Tommy Rouse, 35, of Bury, posed holding Christmas cards which were sent to repeat offenders.

The force said the cards were a "timely warning" about what people risked by straying from the straight and narrow.

Rouse, a father of five, breached his bail conditions by testing positive for drugs and was sent back to jail.

'Don't be a pudding'

He had been convicted of a range of offences in the past 20 years, including burglary, car theft, assault and drug offences and has spent nine Christmases behind bars.

He had vowed to stay out of trouble this year so he could spend Christmas at home with his children.

The burglar was pictured in the police campaign holding Christmas cards with slogans such as "don't be a pudding this Christmas" and "stay out of trouble to stay out of prison".

Supt Mark Granby from Greater Manchester Police's Bury division said: "Tommy Rouse was given the chance to go straight, make something of his life and undo some of the pain he had inflicted on himself, his family and society.

"After 18 weeks on bail he shattered the faith people had put in him by returning to drug use.

"This was despite the progress he had made in getting a flat, starting to take responsibility for his family and being supported to take up a painting and decorating course."

He added: "The message to people like Tommy is clear. You will be given a chance and support to turn your back on crime and become a useful member of society, but there are conditions.

"Fail to keep those conditions and you will find yourself back behind bars whether it's Christmas or not."

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