A CAREER criminal has been jailed for four years for two burglaries and a spree of car thefts.

Kevin Andrew Lee, formerly of Willington, burgled a family home in the Sunnybrow area of Willington in December last year, taking children's presents from under the tree, bank cards and keys.

He also struck the home of an 87-year-old woman in Willington whilst she was home on New Year's Day, stealing a purse, money and jewellery.

The 32-year-old pleaded guilty to both burglaries and three charges of theft at Durham Crown Court yesterday.

Lee has 32 convictions for 60 offences, mostly dishonesty related.

Recorder Gavin Doig said: "You were given an opportunity by the court in December 2018 and you responded to that by carrying out further offences.

"You have caused real damage to families who will take years to recover, if they ever do."

Lee was sentenced to two years and six months for burglary in December and three years and six months for the New Year's Day burglary to run concurrent. He was also given a further six months for the theft charges, to run consecutively.