A TINY teenage burglar who already has more than 30 offences on his record is behind bars after acting as a look-out for a break-in.

Adam Atkinson - said to be so small he has struggled to get a prison sweatshirt to fit - was jailed for two years and five months.

His lawyer told Teesside Crown Court that the 18-year-old is finding it difficult to cope with his first spell of custody.

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Alex Bousfield, mitigating, and Atkinson, from Middlesbrough, was afraid to leave his cell after suffering "some unpleasant behaviour".

Last year and in 2015, the teenager appeared in youth court for burglary - and the latest one last month was his "third-strike".

There is a minimum three-year sentence for qualifying crimes, but Atkinson was given a third off as credit for his guilty plea.

Mr Bousfield told Judge Peter Armstrong: "His past as a youth has caught up with him, and very much so. He was only 18 last summer.

"Clearly he got into quite a lot of trouble as a youth and, perhaps, it didn't seem that serious to him back then, but it does now.

"He has found it very difficult in prison. He does express remorse and explains how horrible a time he is having in prison.

"He is very small to most people in prison. He accepts that the law is against him. He was given many chances in the youth court to mend his ways and he has failed to take those chances."

The court heard that Atkinson and a younger youth were caught after the break-in in Roscoe Street, Middlesbrough, on February 12.

Jewellery, watches and computer equipment were taken, said prosecutor Rachel Masters, along with a diary, purse and a camera and bag.

Atkinson, who appeared via a live video-link from Holme House Prison wearing a baggy grey jumper, admitted burglary. His co-accused was dealt with in the youth court.

Judge Armstrong told the teenager, of Falmouth Street, Middlesbrough: "The two of you are equally responsible for that burglary."