A TEENAGE burglar targeted the home of his girlfriend’s family, but later claimed he had no memory of committing the crime, a court heard.

Kia William Taylor broke into the house in Horden, County Durham, via a window, before taking the keys to the family’s Ford Mondeo vehicle, overnight on June 7/8.

Durham Crown Court was told the male householder discovered the break-in when he woke at 5am on June 9 and realised his car, left parked outside the home in Douglas Avenue, was missing.

Dan Cordey, prosecuting, said a fingerprint lift taken from the window linked Taylor to the point of entry, but when arrested the 18-year-old suspect remained silent under police questioning and made no admission when he appeared at magistrates’ court.

But, appearing at a plea hearing at Durham Crown Court, via video link from the city’s nearby prison, Taylor, of Clara Street, Seaham, admitted charges of burglary and theft.

The court was told having just become “an adult”, in the eyes of the law, in late March, he has now built up 13 convictions for 26 offences.

Tamara Pawson, in mitigation, said there did not appear to have been “a great deal” of pre-planning.

“His instructions to me are that he has no recollection of the crime as he was full of vallium.

“At the time it was less than three months after his 18th birthday and he had taken drugs since his young teens, having begun using cannabis before he was 14.

“He had lost contact with his family and lived in a variety of hostels.

“At the time of the offence he was still in a relationship with the residents’ daughter.”

Miss Pawson said while in custody he has become genuinely remorseful and begun working with an agency to try to wean himself off his drug addiction.

She said she wondered if criminal record of recent years was down to him mixing with, “the wrong crowd”, but he told her he was one of that group.

Imposing a sentence of 15 months in a young offenders’ institution, Judge Jonathan Carroll said it was, “a pretty despicable” offence, causing hardship and anxiety to his girlfriend’s family.

“While it’s said there was no significant planning, you can’t comply it was spontaneous, as you knew that house.”