A BURGLAR has been jailed after raiding a house while the owner was away.
Peter Mouter was picked out of an identity parade by a 15-year-old, Durham Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Sean Dryden said Mouter partly dismantled a kitchen outhouse to gain entry to the property in Boston Street, Easington Colliery.
“It appears he entered the kitchen, but did not take anything,” Mr Dryden added.
“Mouter denied the offence when interviewed, despite his fingerprints being found on door panels in the house.
“Further evidence against him was provided by a 15-year-old witness who saw him behaving suspiciously near the property.”
Mouter, 33, of Station Road, Easington Colliery, admitted burglary.
The court heard his previous convictions for burglary qualify him for a minimum three-year sentence under the ‘three strikes’ rules.
Chris Morrison, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Mouter’s offending has slowed down in recent years.
“This offence was nearly a year ago, and he has kept out of trouble since.
“It was an impulsive act, he clearly had the opportunity to steal at leisure.
“He thought better of it once inside the house and took nothing.”
The Recorder, Ms Taryn Turner, jailed Mouter for three years.
Recorder Turner told him: “You may not have taken anything, but considerable damage was done to the outhouse.
“The impact on the tenant has also been severe, causing her to leave the area.
“I see no reason to depart from the minimum sentence provisions in this case.”