A WOMAN who broke into her parents' home and set fire to a safe to try to steal money was accused of "a monstrous breach of trust" as she was jailed for more than three years.

Jenna Partlett had looted the house and had bags of belongings ready to take at the front door when her mother returned and caught her in the act just two days before Christmas.

Partlett's mother put out the fire in a bedroom cupboard, and manhandled the 30-year-old out of the property in Loftus, east Cleveland, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Partlett – who has two previous burglary convictions, both against her parents – was told by Judge Sean Morris: "Leave them alone."

The court heard that Partlett's mother has custody of her three children because of her drugs misuse, and had been at a dancing class with one of them when the burglary happened.

In a statement, she said: "I am devastated my own daughter would steal. It is not the first time and, no doubt, it won't be the last."

Judge Morris told Partlett: "It is a despicable way for a daughter to behave, especially when your parents have taken over the responsibility of the children you gave birth to while you swan around taking drugs. They must be at their wits end.

"This was a day-time burglary, but it was targeted. It was a monstrous breach of trust.

"I have read the psychiatric report. There is nothing wrong with you apart from the stuff you put in your own veins. You need to get a grip, so I am going to give you some time to get your act together."

Partlett, of no fixed abode, but from Loftus, was locked up for a total of three years and three months after she admitted charges of burglary and arson at an earlier hearing.

Her barrister, Amrit Jandoo, said: "This was a very poor attempt to achieve one simple objective – to get money from the safe to buy drugs.

"Setting fire to a safe is hardly the most innovative of efforts. There was no other substantial damage caused to the bedroom or the house."

Judge Morris told the mother-of-three: "No doubt under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both, you set fire to the plastic part of a safe that was in a cupboard.

"Fortunately, you mother came home and smelled the smoke and managed to put it out before falling, dripping plastic, which is lethal, dropped onto a carpet or clothing or wood and torched the house.

"If they had not returned home, goodness knows what would have happened. You were bagging everything up to go, and could have left everything smouldering."