A BURGLAR who broke into a caravan was caught after he left his DNA at the scene, a court heard.

Nathan Scott Rees targeted a caravan storage site in Durham in the early hours of July 21 where he entered without permission but did not take anything.

The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to a string of offences, including burglary, at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court yesterday.

Rachel Butt, prosecuting, said: "The company director said in a statement that he was alerted to the alarm going off at around 6.50am on the morning of July 21.

"He went to the building but couldn't see anything, he then went outside and noticed a caravan window had been smashed, although it appeared that nothing had been taken."

Ms Butt said that police were called and investigations found DNA at the scene which was later matched to the defendant, Nathan Scott Rees.

He pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal and criminal damage on Thursday, August 13 this year.

Rees also entered guilty pleas to two charges of criminal damage and assault by beating on November 6 last year.

Ms Butt added: "The defendant had been socialising with friends after they attended a firework display together.

"The victim said in a statement that Mr Rees' behaviour suddenly seemed to change and he became argumentative.

"He then punched one of the male friends to the head, went downstairs and smashed a TV and a clock and then went outside where he damaged a car which was witnessed by a neighbour.

"Police were called and the defendant was arrested, however he gave a 'no comment' interview."

Suzanne Hanson, mitigating, said her client was vulnerable and had been easily led by an older co-defendant.

In relation to the incident on bonfire night she said: "They had all had a bit too much to drink.

"The day after the incident Mr Rees apologised to his friend, they shook hands and that's it, as far as they are concerned it's resolved.

"With regards to the damage to the car he knows it should not have happened.

"The burglary was not a sophisticated offence, there was no planning, he didn't wear gloves, he is a vulnerable man and he has done what a much older defendant has told him to."

Rees, of Woodland Road, Esh Winning, was given 9pm till 8am curfew for eight weeks and he was also ordered to pay £450 in compensation.