A YOUNG boy has been left traumatised after coming home to discover his family home was being burgled.

The first person to notice the home in Linthorpe, Middlesbrough was being broken into was a frightened three-year-old boy who has since received counselling.

The burglar, Wayne Dixon, who returned to the house days after his initial raid and stole the family’s high performance £55,000 car, has been sentenced to three years in jail.

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Teesside Crown Court heard that Dixon thought he had got away with the crime, but left behind a soft drinks bottle with his DNA on it. He was also captured on CCTV cameras the family had previously installed at the property.

Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said the house owners had been out and when they returned discovered that thousands of pounds worth of electrical items and jewellery had taken from from the bedrooms. Goods stolen included iPads, a watch, a Kindle reader device, a Nintendo games machine, a money box with £200 in it and £500 worth of foreign currency.

Dixon, of Deepdale Avenue, Middlesbrough who admitted burglary and theft, returned four days after the burglary on January 10 this year, having stolen a set of car keys, and drove off with a £55,000 Nissan Gti belonging to the family. It was later recovered by police from an address at Rosedale Avenue, Middlesbrough.

Mr McReddie said Dixon, who has 24 convictions for 61 previous offences, wished to “take his punishment on the chin” and accepted he had committed a despicable crime.

After the court hearing, Alexandra Hartill, 22, explained that her three-year-old nephew had noticed glass on the ground when he returned home with family members.

It is thought Dixon, who stole cash the boy's brother had been saving in a Lion King money box, heard them coming back and escaped out of a back window.

Miss Hartill said: “At bedtime he would scream, and he’d have to check the garden and that everything was locked. It was a big struggle for two months and he was recommended for counselling.

“He (Dixon) had a half-hour rampage in the house and his ten-minute joyride in the car. Was it worth all this, and him going to jail behind those massive walls for all that time?”