A BURGLAR who broke into a shop which had not even opened and carried out three “professional” raids is behind bars today.

Craig Walker and an unknown accomplice smashed their way into the e-cigarette store in Middlesbrough in the early hours.

Drug addict Walker was caught on CCTV stuffing stock down his camouflage jacket and trousers before fleeing, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The 41-year-old returned alone within 20 minutes wearing a different jacket, and carrying a backpack which he filled with money from the till and more electronic cigarettes and accessories.

An hour later, he made his third trip to the shop on Norfolk Place on the Berwick Hills estate with a bin liner which he filled.

Prosecutor Emma Atkinson said stock worth up to £7,000 was taken along with £190 from the till, while an external CCTV camera worth £160 was smashed.

The owner of the business was forced to sleep in the shop for fear of a return visit, Miss Atkinson told Judge Sean Morris.

When Walker was arrested, some of the clothes he had worn were found, along with some of the stolen items.

“He would not name the other person,” Miss Atkinson said. “He committed the offence because he was, in his words, skint.”

His solicitor Kelleigh Lodge said prison would have an impact on Walker’s mother, who he lives with and who suffers from Crohn's disease and emphysema.

Miss Lodge said: “He made partial admissions to police and explained he was skint, had a drug addiction and also had a drug debt.

“The person he had the debt to started attending his mother’s address asking for money, and he committed this offence to get goods he could sell on to get money.

“There will be an impact on his mother because he will not be there to assist her with her health issues.”

Jailing him for 16 months, Judge Morris told Walker: “You should think about your mother before you commit crime.

“Your lifestyle is a choice you have made and that’s what has put you here, and that’s what is going to make your mother suffer. There is nobody to blame but you.

“You have a bad record. This was a professional-style forced entry."

Walker, of Brewsdale Road, Middlesbrough, who has 69 previous offences on his record, admitted burglary.