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One-armed bandit jailed after robbing for 35 years

A one-armed burglar in Britain, who raided houses at will since the age of 10, has been finally nabbed and jailed after 35 years while stealing a purse in his last attempt.

Gerald George Coles, 46, was jailed for three years at Swansea Crown Court after pleading guilty to stealing a purse from a house in the city last June, the Daily Mail reported.

Coles could be held when a man, whose home overlooked his daughters, spotted the one-armed man in his daughter's garden.

The father watched as Coles entered the terraced home of Sarah Jane Morgan and her family through a back door -- before reappearing a short time later. He quickly confronted Coles and was stunned to see the defendant only had one arm.

Though Coles denied stealing anything, it later emerged that a purse, containing 47 pounds (about Rs.4,000), a bank card and a Post Office card, was missing from the kitchen.

Coles, from Heol Emrys, Penlan, admitted to his crime Dec 15. Brian Simpson, prosecuting, said that Coles had no fewer than 16 convictions for dwelling-house burglary.

Judge Thomas told Coles: "The only way the courts can protect the public from your activities is by sending you to prison."

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