A MAN who burgled the home of a neighbour has been jailed for a year.
John Evans targeted the ground floor flat in his block while the occupier was working away, Durham Crown Court heard.
“The victim returned to find his house had been burgled,” said Nicholas Rooke, prosecuting.
“Among the items taken was clothing, DVDs and the victim’s birth certificate.
“Police were investigating Evans on another matter and searched his flat.
“Items from the burglary, including the missing birth certificate, were recovered.”
The court heard Evans’s fingerprint was found on a bin bag in the burgled flat.
Mr Rooke added: “The victim said he is now so concerned about leaving his flat to work away, he has decided to move in with his sister.”
Evans, 27, of Snowdon Place, Peterlee, admitted burglary in March of this year, and asked for an offence of attempted burglary in Old Shotton to be taken into consideration.
He admitted breach of bail by failing to turn up for an earlier hearing.
The court heard Evans is in breach of a suspended sentence for burglary, imposed earlier this year.
Jane Waugh, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Evans knows it will be custody.
“All I can ask is that your honour keeps the sentence as short as possible commensurate with your public duty.”
Judge Christopher Prince jailed Evans for 12 months, plus one week for breach of bail.
The judge told him: “The items stolen in the burglary were not of high value, but the theft of the birth certificate was disturbing for the victim.
“I also take into account the fact he felt he had to move house.
“There is no mitigation in this case, other than the guilty plea.”