A BURGLAR was jailed today (May 1) for ransacking a woman's home - because he was jealous of her friendship with his partner.

Phillip Moore had threatened to break into the terraced property in Darlington unless his girlfriend stopped seeing her.

After the pair split up, the 42-year-old carried out his vow - and stole treasured jewellery, computer equipment and cash.

Teesside Crown Court heard the money had been collected by the victim from members of her domino club for a summer trip.

And whenever she and her 12-year-old son return home, the terrified boy says: "You go in first, mam - is he coming to get me?"

In an impact statement for the court, she said: "We are both apprehensive when we return. It has been devastating."

Prosecutor Sue Jacobs said the jewellery taken in the January raid had a significant sentimental value and a cash worth of £525.

A £350 iPhone, computer and other equipment worth almost £1,000 and £400 from the domino club was also snatched by Moore.

Mrs Jacobs described him as being a "prolific" burglar in the past but said his last house raid conviction had been in 1998.

Moore admitted the burglary after some of the haul - an earring - was found in his room at a hostel on Grange Road, Darlington.

Other jewellery had been pawned at a town centre shop and the cash has not been recovered, Mrs Jacobs told Judge Peter Armstrong.

Jailing him for 16 months, the judge told Moore: "The effect on (the victim) and her son has been considerable.

"These premises were deliberately targeted by you because the occupant was this lady with whom you had a history of issues.

"You had threatened in the past that if your partner didn't cease the relationship, you would break into her house - and that's exactly what you did."

Scott Smith, mitigating, said Moore returned to his drug-taking ways when his 21-year relationship ended and lost his cleaning job.

"The animosity of the parties led to him stealing the items," said Mr Smith. "It was an aberration after he had turned his life around."