A MAN who stole more than £700 worth of scented candles from a gift shop will spend the Christmas period behind bars.

David Gray smashed his way into a store in Chester-le-Street and stole 31 Yankee Candles worth about £743 from the window display.

The incident, at Cheers greetings cards shop, on Front Street, happened at sometime on the evening of Friday, October 11.

Police officers from Durham Constabulary carried out a number of enquiries in a bid to trace the suspect, including analysing CCTV footage from the area and forensic examination of blood found at the scene.

A media appeal was also issued to trace the person responsible, and Gray was arrested on Thursday, November 7.

The 38-year-old, of no fixed abode, was charged with burglary.

On Monday he appeared at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to the offence.

He was sentenced to six weeks in prison.

He was also ordered to pay £440 in compensation.

A Durham Constabulary spokeswoman said: “Burglaries like this can have a devastating impact on businesses and the communities they serve.

“We are pleased that Gray has admitted his guilt and will be spending the festive period off the streets and behind bars.”