A BURGLAR who was caught with £1,000 worth of stolen property while fleeing a house raid has been put behind bars.
Merrick Ainslie was still inside the house at West Lawn, Sunderland, when police arrived on March 28.
Newcastle Crown Court heard officers spotted the 30-year-old making off with personal property, including jewellery and camera equipment.
The raider was quickly caught and the stolen property returned to the family, who had been out at the time.
Prosecutor Mark Guiliani told the court the police had been alerted by a neighbour who had heard the sound of smashing glass.
Mr Guiliani said: “Police officers were quickly at the house, within a couple of moments of the call.
“They could see a smashed window.
“They looked inside to see the defendant hiding in the study.
“The defendant saw the police officers and hid further in the house.
“They then saw the defendant leaving and he was caught nearby, hiding behind a wall.”
The court heard it was the second time the family’s home had been raided and they were left feeling “violated” by the fact a stranger had been in.
Ainslie, of Toward Road, Sunderland, admitted burglary.
Mr Recorder Edward Bindloss sentenced Ainslie, who has a long criminal record, to two years and eight months behind bars.
The judge said: “It is clear his long standing addiction to Class A drugs is the problem.”
Nicholas Lane, defending, said: “When free from illicit substances he does display some insight.”