A MOTHER and her son were sleeping at home when intruders entered and took items, including the woman’s purse containing her bank cards.

Durham Crown Court heard that Shaun Keith Doran and an accomplice carried out the “opportunistic” break-in at the house in Seaham, on January 18, after entering via an unlocked rear door.

Matthew Collins, prosecuting, said it was not until the following morning that the woman woke to discover the burglary, as her purse was missing from a handbag, while also taken were her bank cards, cigarettes, keys, cash and a lap-top computer worth about £600.

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Mr Collins said the woman’s son was distraught on realising people had been in the property while they slept upstairs.

Over the course of the rest of the day her bank debit card was used several times to make contactless purchases, totalling £151.

The court heard the victim said since the break-in she has had difficulty sleeping and has been very nervous at home.

But she said she has also become “obsessive” checking doors and windows to ensure they are locked.

Reading from her victim statement, Mr Collins said the woman said she is now continually worried about being broken into a second time, and is suspicious of anyone she sees who she does not know near her home.

She added: “I work hard for my money, pay taxes and abide by the law, and, I’m really angry at what has happened.”

Doran, 29, of Brady Street, Sunderland, who was subsequently arrested, admitted burglary and fraud by false representation.

The court heard his previous offending of 24 convictions for 45 offences, include 21 for theft and three for commercial burglaries, but this was his first domestic break-in.

Jennifer Coxon, mitigating, said despite his record, the time Doran has spent in custody since March has been his longest spell behind bars.

She said at the time he had several personal difficulties and his drug misuse was, “out of control”.

Jailing him for 30 months, Judge Simon Hickey told Doran that the householder’s own comments best expressed the sentiment felt by victims of such crimes.

The court heard a co-accused in the burglary received a 40-month sentence for this and other crimes, at Newcastle Crown Court, while an accomplice in the fraud element was given a suspended prison sentence.