A BURGLAR who stole thousands of pounds worth of cash and gold has been jailed for a catalogue of offences.

Robert Baines and an accomplice raided the home in July last year whilst he was already on bail for possession of stolen goods and commercial premises burglaries.

The 41-year-old used an axe and an angle grinder to try and force his way into the safe of a McDonalds restaurant and stole goods after breaking into cabins at Albert Hill Commercials in Darlington, and stealing goods.

Teesside Crown Court heard how police had also recovered goods, hidden behind a bath panel, which had been stolen during a burglary at a house in February last year just days after the occupant died.

Recorder Michael Fanning told Baines that the victim’s family felt her home had been ‘desecrated’ by the burglary when jewellery and crockery was stolen.

Paul Cross, prosecuting, said Baines stole £5,800 in cash and a quantity of gold from the house on Haughton Road, Darlington, in July last year.

The Northern Echo: Robert BainesRobert Baines

The defendant's offences took place between March and July last year, the court heard.

The father-of-six, of Hundens Lane, Darlington, pleaded guilty to two burglaries, an attempted burglary and possession of stolen goods, including a motorbike and chainsaw.

Mark Styles, in mitigation, said his client was in the grip of a crack cocaine addiction at the time of the offences.

The judge jailed Baines for a total of three years and ten months.

"I have read that you were heavily in the grip of Class A drugs at the time of these offences, the offending was with a view of funding that habit," he said.

Dealing with the burglary, he added: "You broke in through the door and went through the conservatory before going to the bedroom and stole cash and jewellery to a total of £20,000."

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated Darlington Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054