A MAN who burgled his own parent’s home knowing they were out, has received a 12-month prison sentence.

Tony Deehan was invited to his parents’ property in Galgate, Barnard Castle, for food, earlier on March 2, but he was not allowed into the house itself.

While he was there he asked if they were going out later in the day and so he was aware they were planning to go to Darlington.

Durham Crown Court was told Deehan returned at about 5pm, unaware his niece was in an upstairs bedroom.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said she heard someone downstairs and then the door of another bedroom open.

Looking from her room she saw Deehan running downstairs, before he left the house and climbed over a gate

The niece alerted Deehan’s parents and his father returned to discover nothing missing from the house, but an angle grinder was taken from an outside tool shed.

Mr Dryden said inquiries were made in the area and it emerged a local man had paid £20 for the grinder.

He asked for £20 to hand it back, but Deehan’s father refused, on the basis that he felt aggrieved having to pay for something that belonged to him in the first place.

Deehan was questioned and he said that after leaving his parents’ home on the lunch time he consumed some cocaine and then claimed he went back to the property to retrieve his keys.

He said he took the angle grinder to sell for money to buy drugs.

The 41-year-old defendant, of Galgate, Barnard Castle, admitted burglary and theft.

Mr Dryden said Deehan’s record features 36 convictions for 85 offences, numerous for dishonesty, including shoplifting, but this was his first burglary.

He was subject to a suspended prison sentence plus other court community orders at the time of the offence.

Chris Baker, mitigating, said Deehan has a long history of acquisitive crime linked to his drug offences.

“It’s his first burglary, sadly against his own family.”

Judge Ray Singh said due to his past offending his parents were wary of having him at their home, but Deehan said it was due to Covid on the day of the offence that he was not allowed inside.

The judge said whatever the reason his parents must be, “at their wits’ end”. with his behaviour.

Receiving the 12-month sentence, Deehan, appearing by video link from Durham Prison, told Judge Singh: “I need to sort myself out and get mentally stronger.”