A burglar has been locked up for more than two years after an intruder crept into a householder’s bedroom and stole just £5.
Alan Hay and a man he refused to name targeted a bungalow in Cumbria Walk, Hartlepool, Teesside Crown Court heard.
“The householder awoke to find someone in his bedroom,” said prosecutor Rachel Masters. “At first he thought it was his son’s girlfriend, who also lives in the property.
“The householder shouted for his son, who was also present. The intruder fled, taking a wallet, its contents, and a £5 note.”
The court heard the householder and his son went out in their car to see if they could find the burglar.
“They came across Alan Hay,” added Ms Masters. “The son knew him by name.
“Hay at first said he had nothing to do with the burglary, but later returned to the property to return the wallet.
“The £5 was still missing, so the police were called.
“When interviewed, Hay said he was with a man, who he would not name, and it was the other man who had entered the property.”
Hay, 31, of Stockton Road, Hartlepool, admitted burglary on February 26.
He denied a separate burglary on September 3, last year, in which a drill and charger were stolen.
Ms Masters added: “The stolen property was recovered, and the prosecution take the view it is not in the public interest to pursue that case in the light of Mr Hay’s plea to the other burglary.”
Hay was found not guilty of the burglary in Stockton Road. The court heard he has previous convictions for four burglaries, making him subject to a minimum three years under the ‘three strikes’ rule.
Andrew Teate, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Hay maintains his account that he did not go into the house.
“He showed some remorse for arranging for some of the property to be returned. He is realistic about the inevitable sentence, but he did plead guilty so the court may feel able to give him the statutory 20 per cent discount off the three years.”
Judge Howard Crowson jailed Hay for 876 days.
The judge told him: “You were jointly responsible for this burglary, even if you didn’t go into the house.
“By returning some of the property and pleading guilty you have shown some remorse, so I am prepared to give you the statutory discount from the minimum sentence. But you should understand if you continue to burgle, the sentences will get longer and longer.”