Burglar smashed in through patio doors

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A COUPLE’S home was repeatedly water damaged after a burglar smashed his way in through a patio door.

Shaun Burnett forced his way into the address at Sulgrave Estate, Washington, causing £3,000 of damage while the family were out.

Newcastle Crown Court heard, because the couple had to wait for parts for the door to be fully repaired, rain was able to leak into their living room.

Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told the court: “There was difficulty repairing the patio doors and a wait for parts.

“As a result, water was getting in.”

The householder, who was pregnant at the time of the raid, told police more than a month later: “My sitting room contains two large dehumidifiers due to water being able to penetrate the house.

“I feel traumatised still, even though it has been five weeks.

“We like to work hard and then relax in the evenings, but we cannot do that as the house is in the process of being repaired.”

Burnett, of Trafalgar Road, Sulgrave, Washington, admitted burglary on October 1 last year.

The court heard he has convictions for eight previous house raids.

Recorder Jonathan Bennett sentenced him to three years behind bars, plus and extra month for an unrelated shoplifting charge.

The judge told him: “I accept there was no one in the house, it was unoccupied at the time.

“It has, of course, caused some trauma to the victims, as you have heard, and indeed several weeks after they were still having to cope with the effects of the burglary.”

The court heard Burnett, who was drunk, had been caught red-handed inside the house after neighbours heard a noise and called the police.

Glen Gatland, defending, said Burnett has had a “chaotic “ upbringing and recently managed to kick his heroin habit.

Mr Gatland said: “He saw a house with the curtains wide open, no sign of anyone inside, he was drunk so decided to burgle it to get some money to buy more drink.

“He is thoroughly ashamed of himself.”

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