A BURGLAR who ransacked a couple's new home and left it looking like "a horror scene" was today (Wednesday, March 13) jailed for 18 months.
Irreplaceable items of jewellery were taken in the November raid along with £4,180 in cash, a television and a DVD player.
Teesside Crown Court heard that windows were smashed and drawers and wardrobes had been rifled at the property in Middlesbrough.
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The victims - who had been away for the weekend - were said to have been traumatised by the devastation they returned to.
Prosecutor Rachel Masters said they described the aftermath as "a scene of horror" and have felt uneasy ever since the break-in.
Robert Walker, of Haddon Street, Middlesbrough, admitted burglary but said two un-named accomplices took most of the property.
Andrew White, mitigating, said the drunken 37-year-old was "a follower" and all he got from the raid was a lap-top computer.
"He is extremely remorseful about this matter," said Mr White. "He accepts and understands he has committed a very serious offence.
Mr White said since the burglary, Walker had got a job as a painter and decorator, conquered a drug problem and stopped drinking.
The court heard that he has 44 offences on his record - including disorderly conduct, criminal damage and having a prohibited weapon.
Judge Gillian Matthews, QC, told him: "These householders have been caused very considerable distress by your actions.
"Not only have they lost items of property of high sentimental value which cannot be replaced, they have also lost confidence in their home."