A BURGLAR struck shortly after a woman left home for an evening out, a court heard.

The householder, who went out at 6pm, soon realised items were missing on her return, at 10.45pm on January 29.

Durham Crown Court heard that she discovered a number of electrical items, including games equipment, a mobile phone, plus tablet and lap-top computers, costume jewellery and £20 in cash, were taken.

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Jane Waugh, prosecuting, said footprints led from the point of entry, the back door, over grass at the rear of the house, in Wood View, Spennymoor, towards nearby Tees Crescent.

A neighbour reported seeing local man Kris Lindsay walking quickly from Wood View towards Tees Crescent, with what he described as “bulging pockets”.

Police investigating the break-in subsequently found the stolen lap-top and tablet at a house in Tees Crescent.

The female resident said Lindsay brought them to the house between 6 and 7pm on January 29.

She told police she challenged Lindsay about the validity of the items and he said: “Don’t worry.”

Lindsay pleaded guilty to burglary at the first hearing at crown court.

The court heard that the 38-year-old’s criminal record dates back to 1992, including previous offences of burglary.

Ian West, mitigating, said despite his record, the break-in was only Lindsay’s second domestic burglary.

Jailing him for a year, Recorder Simon Jackson told Lindsay: “You have an appalling record dating from when you were a juvenile.”

The recorder added that insecurity suffered by the victim added to the gravity of the offence.