A BURGLAR is behind bars for a one-night crime-spree in his own neighbourhood.

Gavin Smith targeted garden sheds on the Skerne Park estate in Darlington – a place he has lived all of his life.

Smith's lawyer said he will have to face his neighbours' wrath once he is released from his sentence of two years and four months.

Teesside Crown Court heard that the 26-year-old stole five mountain bikes and a motorbike in the space of just a few hours on June 18.

And a car found abandoned on the estate had Smith's fingerprints on the rear-view mirror and in the driver's footwell.

Keys for the Hyundai i20 were taken during a burglary in April, and the vehicle was stolen on June 17, said prosecutor Emma Atkinson.

The court heard that two mountain bikes were stolen from a shed in Tyne Crescent, leaving a 12-year-old boy "devastated".

A bike was then taken from a shed in Coleridge Gardens, and a motorbike from a shed in Trent Place.

Smith was on the motorcycle when he and an accomplice targeted a garage attached to a house in Railway View and woke the occupant.

When the woman saw the burglar with a bike on each shoulder and asked what he was doing, she was told: "We are f***ing nicking your gear."

The householder and her husband chased the raiders, and got one of the mountain bikes back.

Two days earlier, Smith stole a mobile phone and car keys from a bag at Blackwell Grange golf club.

Police were tipped off that the bikes were at a house in Esk Road and found some of them in a shed, said Miss Atkinson, and Smith handed himself in days later.

Ben Pegman, mitigating, said Smith had been self-medicating with sleeping tablets at the time of the crime-spree.

Mr Pegman gave Judge Howard Crowson letters from his client and his mother, and said: "He expresses remorse.

"He tells me that the catalyst to his spiral down was an estrangement from his previous partner and not seeing his daughter.

"The area in which all these offences were committed is where Mr Smith has lived all his life. He will have to face these people."

Smith, of Tyne Crescent, Darlington, admitted four charges of burglary, one of theft and allowing himself to be carried in a vehicle which had been taken without the consent of the owner.