A BURGLAR who caused ‘gratuitous’ damage to a house being renovated by its owner has been jailed for 16 months.

Callum Wood smashed his way into the property before pouring cement all over a newly laid parquet floor and making off with two mountain bikes and the keys to the rear door and patio doors.

The 32-year-old committed the burglary in Middlesbrough while he was on licence after being released from prison for breaking into hospital staff cars at the start of the Covid pandemic last March.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Wood’s addiction to alcohol and drugs was behind his offending.

Tom Mitchell, prosecuting, Wood was traced after leaving blood at the scene where he smashed a window to gain access to the house.

He added: "The homeowner returned to find a front window broken and that a toolbox had been placed outside. When he went inside to see what else was amiss or afoot he found that there was damage to a brand new parquet floor which he had just installed.

"It had been damaged because the defendant poured a bucket of cement over it and the entire floor needed replacing."

Mr Mitchell said the two mountain bikes worth £450 were stolen along with two sets of keys.

He told the defendant had a long record for non-dwelling burglary, including breaking into the cars of hospital staff, and two dwelling burglaries.

Wood, of Rothbury Road, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to burglary and was in breach of licence and a conditional discharge.

Nicci Horton, in mitigation, said her client had suffered with an addiction to alcohol and sleeping tablets resulting in his mental health difficulties.

She added: "He did make some progress later on in a court order he received but then he did go on to commit further offences."

Miss Horton said the defendant had struggled with the death of his grandmother and returned to his old ways.

Judge Howard Crowson jailed Wood for 16 months.

"You have got an increasingly bad record," said. "You broke a window to gain entry to a house where somebody is taking great pride in turning into their home.

"You moved the toolbox, took the two mountain bikes and damaged the parquet floor, which for somebody who had gone to the trouble of laying a parquet floor, it must be quite demoralising - this was gratuitous damage."

Wood was jailed for 12 months for four counts of attempted theft from a motor vehicle and possession of a sharply bladed article.

He damaged the vehicles and tried to steal from them while the owners were working treating patients in Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital.

A health care assistant had finished a 12 hour shift at the Marton Road hospital to find her back windscreen shattered. Others discovered similar scenes after "risking their lives" treating other patients.