A DRUG user burgled the home of a man he knew, claiming it was a “spur of the moment” act to fund his substance misuse, a court heard.

The victim left the property, in Nelson Street, Bishop Auckland, in late afternoon of December 13, last year, returning at 6.45pm to find the bathroom window smashed.

Durham Crown Court heard he soon realised that an iPhone and iPad were missing, and a search of the rest of his home confirmed a set of work tools and other electrical items also appeared to have been taken.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said the tool set was recovered from a friend who said her husband bought it from a man called ‘Jimmy’.

The value of the items not recovered was put at between £670 and £1,270.

Mr Baker said a finger print found near the point of entry matched with defendant Jimmy-Joe Taylor.

He was arrested and claimed it may have been recovered because he was previously at the house, to smoke cannabis, and had opened windows while there.

The court heard he has a single previous burglary offence on his record.

Appearing at a crown court plea hearing, Taylor, 30, of Gibbon Street, Bishop Auckland, admitted the latest burglary offence.

Dan Cordey, mitigating, said no-one was present at the house at the time, preventing the risk of confrontation.

“It was a spur of the moment offence, committed because, at that time, he had a drugs problem, and needed money to fund that habit.

“He has since been given assistance to address his drug misuse, but he still has an alcohol problem.”

Judge James Adkin told Taylor that as with all burglaries there is a great impact on the victims affected, whose homes have been violated.

He imposed a 16-month prison sentence but reduced it by four months because of Taylor’s guilty plea.