A BURGLAR who launched a tirade of abuse at a judge after being jailed for 20 months is now likely to have his sentence increased.

John Fitzpatrick shouted 'You absolute p****' as Judge Jonathan Carroll passed sentence at Teesside Crown Court before making inappropriate hand gestures towards him.

The 37-year-old had been jailed for carrying out two commercial burglaries.

Fitzpatrick was due to be brought back before the judge to face a charge of contempt of court following his outburst but his behaviour in the cells resulted in the hearing being delayed until next week.

The Northern Echo: John FitzpatrickJohn Fitzpatrick

Jonathan Walker, prosecuting, told the court how the defendant's DNA was found at the scene of a burglary at a building site and how he was caught almost red-handed after targeting a school.

Fitzpatrick was one of a number of men who smashed their way into a house on the Gleeson development on College Gardens in Middlesbrough before stealing a combi-boiler in November last year.

Mr Walker said he was then in a gang of three people who broke into Archway School in Middlesbrough at around 10.45pm on March 9 this year causing up to £4,000 in damage to the building and stealing a laptop worth around £600.

He said the police were alerted by a member of the public who saw two of the men smash their way into the secured premises.

Fitzgerald, of Cranmore Road, pleaded guilty to two burglaries of commercial premises.

Andrew Turton, in mitigation, said his client had managed to keep himself out of trouble for several years before carrying out the burglaries.

He said: "He is extremely disappointed with himself, he has let himself and his family down."

The court heard Fitzpatrick had been working in London but at the time of the burglaries he had been out of work.

Judge Jonathan Carroll told the defendant he was now a "grown man" and had to deal with the "grown up consequences" of this sort of offending.

Sentencing him to 20 months in prison, he added: "All schools are managing on incredibly tight budgets trying to do their level best to ensure young kids get the best the school can provide, not just in education, but all the extra activities and space and care that young kids need to thrive and grow."

He will be back before the court on December 10.