A burglar who stole a pensioner’s car after ransacking her home on Boxing Day has been locked up.

Wayne Weatherson also stole four televisions, a laptop and jewellery, from the widow’s home of almost 50 years leaving her devastated by the invasion.

The 33-year-old was arrested nearby after a neighbour spotted him acting suspiciously and called the police.

Teesside Crown Court heard how all of the stolen goods were recovered but the burglary had left the victim feeling traumatised that someone had been through her entire home.

Cainan Lonsdale, prosecuting, said a search of CCTV showed how Weatherson had been trying doors in the area before managing to get into the pensioner’s Redcar home and stealing her car.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said: “I have never felt so low in my life since the death of my husband.”

The court heard how she had lived in the house for 47 years and brought her children up while living there.

Mr Lonsdale said the defendant had 23 convictions for 43 offences, many for dishonesty, and was serving a community order at the time of the burglary.

The Northern Echo: Wayne WeathersonWayne Weatherson (Image: Cleveland Police)

Weatherson, of Westbourne Grove, Redcar, pleaded guilty to burglary and theft of the car following the raid in the early hours of Boxing Day last year.

Andrew Turton, mitigating, said his client had used his time in custody since his arrest to get himself clean of drugs.

“He is ashamed and disgusted by his behaviour,” he said. “He maintains that it was not planned.

“The fact he was trying door handles in the area is an example of an opportunistic attempt to get into the house.”

Recorder Andrew Walker jailed Weatherson for 18 months for the burglary and theft after he ransacked the widow's home.

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“You stole four televisions, a laptop, jewellery, and other items, you also stole her car and crashed it into the wall getting it out of her drive way.

“You were found not far away still sitting in the car. You were arrested and CCTV showed you trying doors prior to the burglary,” he said.

“She had lived in the property for 47 years and since you burgled it, she has felt unsafe.

“You carried out the burglary in such a way that no space was left untouched and her space had been infringed upon.”