A BURGLAR who raided the home of an elderly couple while they slept was locked up for five years yesterday by a judge who told him he had left his victims traumatised.

Steven Harrison took a haul of sentimental items as well as cash cards and went on a "frantic" spending trip with his mother until they were cancelled by the owners.

They bought cigarettes and alcohol and withdrew money - totalling more than £800 - during the two-hour spree in Middlesbrough town centre in August last year.

Police later found some of the stolen haul - a treasured pendant, a letter opener and a door key - when they searched 25-year-old Harrison's home in nearby South Bank.

A court heard yesterday that the couple's wedding licence, three copies of their will, a birth certificate, cash, a mobile phone and a digital camera are still missing.

Harrison denied being responsible for the break-in, but admitted using the stolen cards and claimed he had found them along with a PIN number in a hedge.

He was found guilty of burglary after a trial, and Judge John Walford described his defence as "laughable" and said the jury quickly saw through his lies.

The judge said Harrison had put the householders through additional worry by pleading not guilty and leaving them with the prospect of having to give evidence.

Jonathan Walker, mitigating, said heavily-convicted Harrison, of Steele Crescent, had shown remorse and regret in a letter he had written for the judge.

He said Harrison would have to live with involving his mother in his "stupid" spree, and of the impact on his victims which were explained during his trial.

Richard Bennett, for 53-year-old Lynn Harrison, of Brereton Road, Middlesbrough, said she had no idea where the stolen cash cards had come from.

She pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud, while her son admitted ten such charges and was convicted of the early-morning August 7 burglary in Eston, near Middlesbrough.

Harrison, who has three sons and a daughter who died at the age of 17, was given a three-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, with 100 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Walford told the unemployed cleaner: "You had the opportunity rather than pandering to the wishes of your son to take a stand but you chose to act dishonestly."

The court heard that the pendant depicting a pitman was kept by the 81-year-old householder as a memento of her father who was the last man killed at Eston Mine 61 years ago.