A MAN seen riding off on one of two bicycles stolen from a house cellar in a sneak break-in was “fingered” by prints left on the inner door frame.

John Davison and his accomplice struck shortly after the householder left the garden gate open at the side of her home in South Street, Durham, having put the bins out, at 7.45pm on July 15.

Durham Crown Court was told a few minutes later the family’s dog ran out barking loudly.

Gurjat Kaur, prosecuting, said the householder went out to see what was disturbing the dog and saw both the garden gate and the cellar door to the cellar open.

One of three of her children’s bikes which had been stored in the cellar was lying next to the open door, but the other two were missing.

A neighbour, whose home is covered by cctv, looked back at footage from the time of the commotion and saw two men cycling away on the two stolen bikes.

Ms Kaur said the bikes, Christmas presents from their grandmother, belonged to the victim’s sons. The two taken were worth a total estimated £280.

She told police that in the wake of the break-in her nine-year-old son was too scared to play out in case the burglars came back.

Forensic teams checking the scene came up with a finger print lift from the internal door frame of the cellar, which matched with Davison.

He was arrested on August 13 but made “no comment” replies to questions throughout his police interview.

But, appearing before magistrates recently, the 36-year-old defendant, of Aberdeen Tower, Gilley Law, Sunderland, admitted a charge of burglary.

Ms Kaur said the offence put Davison in breach of a four-month suspended prison sentence imposed by Teesside magistrates, in August 2019, for obstructing a railway carriage, by throwing a metal barrier onto the Newcastle to Middlesbrough line while drunk, on July 16 that year.

The driver of a Northern Rail service, whose train went over the barrier, had to stop to remove the barrier from the line.

It was one of 34 convictions for 59 offences since 2002.

Amrit Jandoo, for Davison, said none of those past offences was for burglary and in this case he did not enter the main part of the house, and there was no confrontation

Mr Jandoo said the defendant has completed the unpaid work element of the August 2019 sentence.

Judge James Adkin told Davison he has, “a bad record for some disturbing behaviour”, but as he has fared “reasonably well” on his past order he would allow that to continue.

He imposed a ten-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with a further 150-days unpaid work.

But Judge Adkin warned Davison: “If I see you again in breach you’ll be going downstairs.”