A burglar went on a spree stealing Christmas presents after breaking into properties in his home town as an intruder in November and December.

Durham Crown Court heard that Josh Hyde was even confronted in the act, in one property, in Peterlee, on Christmas Day itself.

But the regular offender is now starting a prison sentence of almost two years and five months after admitting a string of offences committed on the run up to Christmas.

Hyde, of Cumbrian Way, Peterlee, broke into addresses on Basingstoke Road, Scafell Close, and Mansell Crescent in November and December 2023.

The Northern Echo: Burglar Josh Hyde jailed for almost two years and five months at Durham Crown Court for spree of

The court was told the now 22-year-old took cash, bank cards, laptops, expensive watches, and several unopened Christmas presents.

On Christmas Day, one of Hyde’s victims returned to their home in Basingstoke Road to find him in an upstairs bedroom, where he claimed he, “wasn’t doing anything”.

He was arrested on suspicion of burglary, and confessed to the crimes during interview, stating that he had stolen the items to make money to buy drugs.

Appearing at a plea hearing at the court on Monday, he put in prompt guilty pleas to two counts of burglary of a dwelling and theft, two of theft in a dwelling and one of fraud, relating to the use of a bank card stolen from one of the targeted homes on December 2.

The Northern Echo:

Judge Jo Kidd imposed a three-year custodial sentence, but reduced it by 20-per cent, to one of 876 days’ imprisonment, to mark the defendant’s guilty pleas.

He was also given a statutory court surcharge of £434, payable on his release from prison.

Speaking after the hearing, PC Foreman, of Durham Police’s East Volume Crime Team, said: “Burglary is an appalling invasion of privacy that can have a devastating impact on victims, and targeting innocent, hardworking people is unacceptable.

“It’s not just the damage caused or the items stolen.

See more court stories from The Northern Echo by clicking here

Burglar caught eating chocolate biscuits in Peterlee house

High value car and safe stolen in Co Durham farm and house burglaries

Burglar steals key from Murton house to take owner's car

Last Chance for New Year's News Offer: Choose 50% off for an annual subscription or 3 months for just £3 with The Northern Echo. Offer ends today! #ResolutionSuccess #FinalOffer. See more details by clicking here

“It’s the knowing that someone has been in your home, and tarnished the very place you’re supposed to feel most safe.

“That alone can take considerable time to overcome.”

PC Foreman added: “While we can never repair the hurt caused, I hope that by putting him behind bars, we can bring some solace to those who have suffered at the hands of Hyde.”