A CRIMINAL who carried out a notorious attack at a Christmas party in Teignmouth is back behind bars after he became a serial burglar.

Dayle Rees served a four year jail term after admitting his attack on a businessmen who he beat with a hammer before his friend Andrew Pile joined in and bit off the end of the victim’s nose.

The two men burst in on a family party at the Number Nine Bistro on December 3 2016 as the victim and his family were having a Christmas celebration. They were demanding money which they claimed his son owed for a drug debt. 

Rees was released half way through his sentence and succeeded in staying out of trouble for some time but then started taking heroin, leading him to commit a string of burglaries. 

He has now been jailed for a raid on a sleeping man’s home that left the victim so traumatised that he had to move house. 

Rees had been out of prison for less than a month before he broke into the flat above a hi-fi shop in Exeter as the tenant was in bed. He woke to find his Playstation and other property stolen and his partner’s bicycle missing from the hall.

The inturder was so heavily under the influence of heroin that he had no memory of breaking into the flat in Sidwell Street, even when police told him he had left a perfect imprint of his palm at the scene.

The victim wrote an impact statement saying he became so worried about leaving his home that he became a recluse, lost his job, and fell into debt. He was only able to start working again after moving to a new home. 

Rees, aged 38, of no fixed address, admitted burglary and being in breach of an earlier suspended sentence and was jailed for three years and nine months by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him there was no option other than immediate custody because his case is subject to a mandatory sentence because of his three previous convictions for burglary. He was also in breach of a suspended sentence passed shortly before this offence. 

Miss Victoria Bastock, prosecuting, said around £2,000 of property was taken in the raid on February 23, including a Playstation, sunglasses, trainers and a bike. Rees has convictions for 69 other offences.

Mr Stephen Nunn, defending, said Rees had been assessed as an excellent prospect for rehabilitation before he was released on a suspended sentence in January. 

The accommodation which he had arranged fell through, he became street homeless and relapsed into heroin addiction.

He has no recollection of carrying out the burglary and had even looked up the location on Google Maps to try to jog his memory, but without success. 

He has had to accept that he must be guilty because of his palmprint being found at the scene.