A SERIAL burglar who was caught by his victim standing on a roof armed with a knife in the middle of the night has been jailed.

Ryan Ludgate was confronted by a woman as he tried to steal copper wiring from her home in Darlington.

The victim, who now fears for her daughter’s safety, woke up to the sound of banging and ripping in the early hours of the morning in February.

A police search later revealed he was armed with a Stanley knife.

Ludgate, who failed to appear at an earlier magistrates’ court hearing, went on to steal a drill from his former work place, a garage in Darlington.

Teesside Crown Court heard the 23-year-old was previously handed nine months in prison after being convicted of five thefts last summer, including a £9,000 camper van.

But the court heard that Ludgate, of Starmer Crescent, Darlington, was hoping to turn his life around after he fell on hard times due to the sudden deaths of his mum and grandma.

He pleaded guilty to attempted theft, burglary, failure to surrender to custody and possession of a sharp object, and was handed three months in prison in addition to the nine months he is already serving.