A SERIAL burglar and thief will be confronted face-to-face by his victims as part of a new justice scheme aimed at dealing with the impact of serious crime.

Craig Dibble, of Cornwell Road, Barry was sentenced to seven years in prison by Cardiff Crown Court for a string of burglaries and thefts with victims including a terminally ill man and an 11-year-old child.

Following his sentence he agreed to take part in the restorative justice scheme, which involves meeting with his victims to help them come to terms with what has happened and to push home the impact of crime on the offender.

Dibble, who has 53 previous offences, began a series of burglaries on October 17 when he entered a house on St Fagan's Avenue, Barry stealing money, keys and a car.

Using this stolen car he travelled to Cardiff the next day where he stole a £160 jacket from Howells.

Later that same day he stole licence plates from a car in Barry before entering another property where he stole a large amount of items from the elderly owners including wedding and engagement rings.

During this burglary he woke an 11-year-old child who found him creeping around in her bedroom.

On October 19, he was caught trying to open a window by a 77-year-old home owner. He was eventually arrested in another stolen car on November 13.

Having left a trail of terrified victims, DC Debbie Zeraschi of Barry CID said that this case was ideal for utilising the new restorative justice scheme.

"This offender was going into the bedrooms of elderly people who obviously found it very distressing," she said. "He stole items of sentimental value which can't be replaced.

"One of the burglaries involved an 11-year-old girl who woke to find him in the bedroom of her grandparent's house. That is very frightening for anybody.

"The scheme allows for victims to ask certain questions and in this case the offender has agreed to speak to the victims about why he did it.

"It helps the victim to get some kind of closure and to regain a sense of control and it is also about getting offenders to understand the lasting effect of their behaviour."