A BURGLAR who terrified a new mum after she caught him standing next to her four-week-old baby has been sent to prison.

Covered in mud and smelling of alcohol, Daniel Bates, 37, targeted almost a dozen houses on the same morning as he prowled around a Houghton-le-Spring estate.

He stole a red Carrera Vulcan mountain bike from a garage of a property on Syston Close, and also entered a house on Greenfield Way with the intention of burgling it.

But Bates was caught in the act as a mother came down the stairs and spotted him standing next to her baby.

The intruder fled empty-handed but went on to try the doors of a number of other houses and vehicles on the same estate.

In a victim impact statement read out at Newcastle Crown Court the mother said: “I now do not feel safe in my own house. My four-week-old baby was next to where the man came in and I was terrified the baby would be harmed.

“I now feel on edge and upset that someone has come into my house without permission. I cannot believe this has happened.

“As soon as I got him out of the house, I took my child upstairs and burst into tears. I am still in shock.”

Bates, of Morley Terrace, Fence Houses, was charged with two counts of burglary and nine counts of attempted burglary.

He pleaded guilty to all 11 offences earlier this year and has now been jailed for a year.

Detective Constable Stuart Havery, of Northumbria Police, said: “Daniel Bates terrified a young mother and callously targeted an entire community on the same morning.

“He frightened a number of occupants in a quiet residential area as he went door-to-door looking for valuables which he could steal. He tried the doors of a number of addresses and vehicles in an attempt to get his hands on anything he could.

“He forced his way into one property on Greenfield Way and terrified the occupant, a new mum who was at home with her four-week-old baby, and then made away with a red mountain bike which he stole from a garage of a nearby address. As he made away with the bike, he was spotted by a passing officer on patrol.

“Burglary is such an intrusive crime and can have a lasting effect on victims and their families and we will continue to actively pursue perpetrators and bring them to justice.”