A BURGLAR who started taking drugs when he was just nine has been jailed for raiding his sister’s house.
Robert Johnstone let himself in to Sarah Johnstone’s Washington home, and made off with Xbox and Wii consoles belonging to her children, aged one and four.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that the devastated mother was uninsured and unable to replace the expensive gaming machines.
She told police in a statement: “This has left me feeling violated and very upset.
“My children will also be upset as they loved the two consoles.”
Johnstone, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to burglary.
The court heard Miss Johnstone was “not as angry” after she found out her brother had admitted the offence and not lied.
Johnstone admitted he had sold the Xbox for £77.
He said he had gone to the house to borrow money to pay off a drugs debt, and just let himself in when he realised the house was empty.
Glen Gatland, defending, said: “He was introduced to drugs aged nine.
“He became a regular user of ecstasy at age 13 and was hospitalised at around that age due to the effects of ecstasy and Valium.
“He was taking LSD capsules at aged 14 and was on crack cocaine and heroin by age 19.
“He uses drugs to blank out unhappy memories from his childhood.”
Mr Gatland said Johnstone is “thoroughly disgusted with himself” for stealing from his family.
Mr Recorder Jonathan Sandiford jailed Johnstone for two years and five months.
The judge told him: “You are a young man who never had very many chances in life, being introduced to controlled drugs at the age of nine.”