A burglar who left an autistic youngster devastated when he broke into his home and stole some of the boy's computer games as well as cash and groceries has been locked up.

Nathan McManus forced his way into the family home on Norton Road, Stockton, in the early hours of August 4 this year before stealing the games, bacon, cheese, washing up liquid, and two bags.

Teesside Crown Court heard how one of the bags contained the victim’s purse with £140 in cash and her driving licence inside.

Cainan Lonsdale, prosecuting, said McManus was traced after a tattoo shop worker recovered the stolen bags and returned them to the woman before police were able to retrace the defendant’s steps with CCTV footage.

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He said the cash and games were never recovered following the burglary and the victim’s son had been left upset and anxious as a result.

The court heard how the defendant has 37 convictions for 81 previous offences.

The Northern Echo: Nathan McManusNathan McManus (Image: Cleveland Police)

McManus, of Corfe Crescent, Billingham, pleaded guilty to burglary when he appeared at magistrates’ court.

Paul Green, mitigating, said his client had struggled with mental health problems and urged the judge to spare the 26-year-old from immediate custody.

He added: “He is still a young man and still has the possibility to be able to move his life forward.”

Recorder Ayesha Smart told the defendant that custody was inevitable as he had failed to work with the probation service during previous sentences.

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“You have a horrific record for someone who is only 26,” she said. “I accept that you indicated your guilty plea at the lower court and will give you full credit for that.

“During the night the victim was in her home with her autistic son and had locked the doors and windows before going to bed.

“You entered that house through a window and stole the items that you did.”

McManus was jailed for two years.