A burglar who targeted more than 50 pubs and attacked a Croydon landlord as he tried to defend his premises has been jailed for seven years.

Michael Ryan, 39, was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court last Friday, May 30.

He had pleaded guilty to one charge of aggravated burglary, relating to an offence at an un-named pub in Croydon on November 13 last year.

Ryan and an accomplice broke into the pub at about 7am, and attempted to smash into fruit machines using a sledge hammer and spade.

The landlord, a man in his 40s, was sleeping upstairs when he heard a noise.

He went downstairs and confronted the two men, but was hit over the head with the spade.

The attack was captured on CCTV and traces of Ryan's blood were also found at the premises.

He was arrested in December and charged on March 1.

Ryan admitted to a a further five burglaries at pubs in Bromely, Hornchurch, Barnet, Croydon and Islington.

A further 50 burglaries, all of them at pubs, were taken into consideration, including establishments in Croydon and Sutton.

Ryan told police he needed the money from fruit machines to fund his heroin and cocaine addiction.

Detective Constable David Thompson, from Croydon CID said: "I would like to thank the victims from the many burglaries committed by Ryan as they provided us with great support and were patient during our extensive enquiries.

"Ryan is a habitual thief and the sentence reflects this."

A second man, John Ryan, of no fixed address, is in custody and will stand trial in September in connection with two of the burglaries.