A YOUNG woman going home at night was shocked when she was unable to open her back gate as an intruder prevented her from entering from the other side.

She backed away and turned to see the figure of a man, so she went to a friend’s home and rang for help from a male acquaintance.

Durham Crown Court was told on returning to her home, in Darlington Road, Ferryhill, with her ‘escort’ they saw the house had been entered via a broken kitchen window and they confronted burglar, Kyle Mawson, who was wearing a face mask.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said Mawson threatened to stab the householder’s friend, who recognised him as someone known as ‘Kyle’.

Mawson seemed to be trying to reach into his trouser pocket, so the other man punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground.

Mr Baker said Mawson threatened to blow up his house and those of his mother and grandmother.

There was a further confrontation in which Mawson was kicked and possibly knocked unconscious.

When the female householder went back to her home the next day she discovered her phone, a handbag and £150 contents were missing.

Mr Baker said a blood stain and mask were found at the scene by police, but the woman’s student card was recovered from Mawson’s home.

The victim was left unsettled in her own home and planned to find new accommodation. Due to the trauma of the break-in she cancelled a planned training course.

When arrested, Mawson told police his blood would not be found at the home.

But, appearing at court via video link from Durham Prison, the 33-year-old defendant, of Bessemer Street, Ferryhill, admitted the burglary, committed on August 16.

The court was told he is already a three-strike burglar.

John Turner, for Mawson, said he “came off very much second best”, from the confrontation and required hospital treatment.

Mr Turner said Mawson accepted being under the influence of drugs in the break-in but has benefited from a period of abstinence while in custody, which has left him feeling healthier.

Judge Ray Singh imposed the mandatory three-year prison sentence for third-strike burglars but reduced it by 223 days for his early guilty plea.

Mawson was also made subject of a three-year restraining order, prohibiting him from contacting or approaching the victim and her male friend for three years.