'Muddy' burglar caught standing next to newborn baby during terrifying raid
A burglar who targeted ten houses within an hour was caught standing next to a newborn baby during one terrifying raid.
Daniel Bates got inside two homes and tried to break into eight more houses on a new-build estate at Houghton shortly before 8am on June 5.
Newcastle Crown Court heard a shocked mum walked into her living room and saw the 37-year-old stranger, who was "very muddy and smelling like alcohol", beside her four-week old tot, who was in a rocker.
The court heard Bates, who has 83 previous convictions and was on a community order, left the house immediately when asked to by the worried mum.
But she said in a statement she no longer feels safe in her own home and added: "My four-week old baby was next to where the male came in.
"I was terrified my baby would be harmed. I cannot believe this has happened. I took my child upstairs and burst into tears, totally in shock."
The court heard Bates took a mountain bike from another property, where the owner said: "People like this disgust me. Stealing and taking anything they want. We have worked hard for everything we own. They think they can take anything they want."
Prosecutor Emma Dowling said Bates was seen trying doors and windows at a further eight houses and added: "The prosecution say he was just looking for anything he could easily take."
Bates, of no fixed address, admitted two charges of burglary and eight of attempted burglary.
He asked for a further offence of burglary of a garage to be taken into consideration.
Bates, who appeared at the hearing via video link to prison, repeatedly said "I am sorry" while the case was being heard and added: "I wouldn't harm a baby, I am sorry."
Miss Recorder Maria Karaiskos jailed Bates for 12 months.
The judge told him: "On June 5, from approximately 7.45 onwards, you carried out a series of burglaries or attempted burglaries, lasting approximately one hour."
The judge told Bates he was "standing right next to" the young baby when caught by the mum and caused instant fear.
Steven Reed, defending, said Bates had recently been released from being remanded in custody over an offence that was later dropped when he carried out the crime spree - which he remembers nothing about.
Mr Reed added: "He is unable to recall the events of that day due to his level of intoxication."
Mr Reed said Bates had mixed medication with alcohol beforehand and is remorseful and ashamed.