A SERIAL burglar who left blood at the scene of the break-in where he stole a child's christening gifts has been jailed for almost two years.

Michael Benjamin Dodsworth smashed his way into the home on Yarm Road, Darlington before stealing £1,000 in cash and jewellery belonging to the victim's young son.

The 23-year-old poured petrol over the scene in a failed attempt to destroy evidence, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Ashleigh Leach, prosecuting, said Dodsworth struck while the householder was at work on March 4.

A month later, Miss Leach said he turned up a woman's house demanding £500 from a cancelled holiday before smashing two windows at the property.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said 'Dodsworth doesn't believe the Coronavirus restrictions apply to him'.

The court heard how the defendant was arrested on April 5 after he was spotted riding a stolen motorbike around the Albert Hill area of Darlington.

Miss Leach said Dodsworth spat on the bonnet of the police car as officers attempted to arrest him.

"The police entered the waste ground and spotted a male riding the orange motorbike, who has then attempted to flee from them. The motorbike has got stuck in the mud and the rider has discarded the motorbike and made off on foot," she said.

He was arrested nearby and while the officers were waiting for a police vehicle to arrive, she said: "The defendant spat on car bonnet and when challenged, the defendant replied 'I'll spit where I want' resulting in him being forcibly taken to the ground to stop him from spitting."

Miss Leach said at the time of the offences Dodsworth was serving a community order which was imposed in January this year for criminal damage and assaulting an emergency worker.

Dodsworth, of no fixed abode but formerly of Darlington, pleaded guilty to burglary, handling stolen goods and two charges of criminal damage.

In mitigation, Ian West, said his client had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and urged the judge to pass the lowest sentence possible.

Judge Stephen Ashurst jailed Dodsworth to a total of 22 months for the offences.

"You have got a considerable record, already with almost 40 offences on it," he said.

"You broke a window and what you stole was money and jewellery which were gifts for the householders son, they were christening presents, and that was clearly a mean thing to do."