A PONTYPOOL man was jailed for five years after a string of theft and burglary offences in Torfaen.

Geraint Hughes, 27, of Capel Newydd Avenue, Pontypool, went to prison for a number of offences, including robbery, burglary and theft, committed in the town.

He had pleaded not guilty to one charge of robbery at New Inn Railway Station on May 8, last year, and to handling stolen goods, but was found guilty following a trial in February.

He pleaded guilty to offences committed overnight between January 24 and 25 earlier this year, consisting of burglary in Griffithstown and theft with no violence, two counts of theft from a motor vehicle, and one count of attempted theft from a motor vehicle.

He was handed a combined sentence of 60 months at Newport Crown Court.

Hughes had been targeted by a Gwent Police team set up six months ago specifically to deal with persistent offenders in Torfaen.

PC Fiona Price, who is one of those heading up the team, said: “We take a robust approach to prolific offenders and target them using a multi-agency approach

“This individual’s crimes affected numerous people within the community and we are satisfied that, as a result of our investigation and the evidence laid before the court, he has been convicted and has received a significant sentence” PC Price said the team was set up due to the area having “lots of prolific offenders”.

“It’s a case of the few affecting the many with statistics showing five per cent of people committing 20 per cent of crime in the area,” she said.

She also said it had enjoyed a number of success stories as well in terms of rehabilitation.

“It has already helped one persistent offender to turn his life around,” she added.