A BURGLAR who has spent more than half his life behind bars is back in jail after raiding a farmhouse.
Thomas Mason broke into an isolated farmhouse in Hetton, after he had been tipped off that the occupant had £10,000 stashed in a tin.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that after smashing his way in and ransacking the room, the 34-year-old failed to find any cash and fled empty handed.
Mason, of Edward Street, Hetton, yesterday pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary.
The court heard he already has a shocking 28 convictions for house raids and has already served long prison sentences.
They include a nine-year term for robbery.
Mason was linked to the raid by blood found at the entry point, where he must have cut himself on the window he smashed to get in.
Judge Esmond Faulks said Mason has spent more than half his life in prison, but has been out of trouble since he was released from his last sentence four years ago.
The judge told him: “By this time, the penny must have dropped that if you commit crime you get sent to prison.
“Why you decided to break into this house to get that money, knowing what the likely consequences would be, I do not know.”
He added: “The time has come to pack it in.”
The judge jailed Mason for 18 months.
Christopher Morrison, mitigating, said his client has “done his best” since he was last let out of jail.
Mr Morrison said the Hetton farmhouse raid did not have any professional hallmarks, and high value goods inside the house were left untouched.
The court heard the retired resident was not at home when the burglary took place.