A serial burglar who ransacked a family home has been put behind bars - thanks to a bottle of milkshake.
Kirk Blakey had taken a banana-flavoured milk drink with him when he raided a house in the hot summer and stole £500 worth of property.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 40-year-old raider had left the bottle behind when he left the house, with electrical items, and clothing belonging to the victims, who had been in the process of moving home.
Police investigating the raid, at Kirkdale Court, South Shields, traced the milkshake brand to a nearby shop and saw Blakey buying the cold drink on CCTV.
Blakey's fingerprints were found on the bottle that was left at the house after it was sent away for testing.
Prosecutor Mark Guiliani told the court the house, which had been left secured, was "ransacked" after Blakey forced a window to get in.
The court heard rooms were searched and stolen from and Mr Guiliani added: "The children's' bedroom wasn't left untouched.
"There was a bottle of milkshake. It was tested and had the defendant's fingerprints on it.
"One local shop sold this kind of milkshake. Officers seized CCTV and the defendant was seen to purchase banana milkshake.
"He was arrested because his fingerprints were on record. He said he had been in the area innocently, the burglary had nothing to do with him."
Blakey, of Bunyan Avenue, South Shields, who has 90 offences on his record, including dishonesty and previous house raids, pleaded guilty to burglary.
Mr recorder Simon Goldberg sentenced him to two years and five months behind bars.
The judge told him: "There is a clear cycle of behaviour here. The root of your offending is your addiction to illegal drugs."
The judge said prison is the "best place" for Blakey to beat his drug problem.
Adam Birkby, defending, said Blakey's addiction to class A drugs is long standing and needs to be overcome for him to stay out of trouble in future.