Serial thief sent back to jail after burglary at Sunderland home

Haikney has been jailed for two years and five months.
Haikney has been jailed for two years and five months.

A criminal with more than 90 offences on his record is back behind bars for an overnight raid that caused fear at a family home.

Andrew Haikney, 32, crept into the house at Barnes Park in Sunderland after spotting an unlocked back door and helped himself to property, including keys to a car parked outside.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the break-in disturbed a grown-up daughter at the house, who contacted her mother in the next bedroom, by phone.

Prosecutor Rachel Masters told the court: "She thought the noise was her mother, or her mother's partner but she did, at some stage, become concerned about the noises, concerned it was not her mother.

"Rather than go out and make inquiries, she contacted her mother by telephone.

"It became clear to all parties that there was someone in the house."

The court heard Haikney fled and took a Vauxhall Vectra when he realised he had been heard, despite being unable to drive.

He was arrested in a nearby park, 15 minutes later, after dumping the car.

Haikney, of Bexley Street, Sunderland, admitted burglary, theft and failing to give a specimen at the police station last November.

The court heard he already has 94 criminal offences on his record, including 15 for burglary or attempted burglary.

Judge Jeremy Freedman sentenced him to two years and five months behind bars with a 12-month road ban.

The judge told him: "You are someone who has been involved in crimes and dishonesty throughout your life.

"The fact of the matter is, you are a persistent, habitual burglar."

Joe Hedworth, defending, said Haikney had a troubled childhood and has spent 13 years of his adult life in prison.

Mr Hedworth said Haikney is mourning the loss of people close to him, including his sister, and has made efforts to change, completed courses and gained certificates while in custody on remand.

The court heard Haikney is "greatly ashamed" for breaking into the house.

Mr Hedworth added: "He offers his most sincere apology for the shock, upset and inconvenience they were caused."