A “DEVASTATED” pub landlord told how his teenage granddaughter disturbed a masked burglar – who had been asleep in his pool room.

The culprit broke into The Three Tuns, in Shildon, only to be disturbed by the young cleaner, who came face to face with the burglar.

Bill Drennan, who has been running the pub for 22 years, said the suspect “frightened the hell” out of the cleaner – who is also his granddaughter.

He said: “My granddaughter does the cleaning for us, so she noticed when she came at 7.20am and found the back door kicked open.

"She rang me, but I thought the person would have gone, so she went in. I was devastated because I should have told her to stay outside.

“It was strange because our CCTV shows that after he broke in, he drank a can of coke and laid down next to the pool table where he fell asleep – he ended up escaping through a window.

“We’re carrying on as normal and leaving it in the hands of the police. We’re hoping he is caught as he took a few quid out of the pool table and damaged it really badly, which will cost us a bit. He also smashed the door, which needed to be fixed.

“As a pub you’re always vulnerable to things like this, but we will make sure we are not affected.”

Mr Drennan believes the suspect originally tried to break into the pub by crawling through the air vent, but was too big to fit.

Following the incident police are appealing for witnesses. A spokesperson for Durham Police said: “Officers were called to reports of a burglary at a pub in Shildon on Saturday.

“The incident occurred at The Three Tuns shortly before 7.30am on September 28.

“The male suspect is described as being of slim build, wearing a waterproof coat and carrying a red bag.

“Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 109 of September 28.”