Children were left afraid to return to their home after it came under attack by a raider.
Antoni Adams smashed a window at a house in Thorney Close, Sunderland, so he could reach in and steal the homeowner’s car keys while the family were sleeping.
The 26-year-old burglar then drove off in a Honda motor that had been parked outside and fled from police who spotted him before abandoning the vehicle.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the noise of the smashing glass woke the sleeping mum inside the house, who now feels unsafe in her own home.
Prosecutor Caroline McGurk told the court: “She is now afraid to say in her own property. She feels vulnerable and anxious at all times. The children are no longer happy in the home they have grown up in.
“They were too distressed to even enter the property or the area where they have a large number of friends and family.”
Miss McGurk told the court Adams had used a rock to smash a ground floor window at the house on May 26, which allowed him to reach in and grab what he wanted.
Adams, of Hylton Road, Sunderland, admitted burglary, taking a vehicle without consent, driving while disqualified and having no insurance.
Judge Paul Sloan QC jailed him for 12 months and banned him from driving for the same period.
The judge said: “The victim speaks in her statement of the effect his offence has had both upon her and her children.
“I accept you now regret your behaviour that night.”
Vic Laffey, defending, said Adams has suffered a significant bereavement while in custody and regrets the fact he could not be there to support his family at a tragic time.
Mr Laffey said the dad-to-be intends to change his life and avoid trouble in future.