A CROOK who went on a night-time burgling ‘spree’ of five homes in one night has been jailed.
David Graham, 49, was under the influence of diazepam when he broke into four homes and attempted to burgle another on March 4.
Graham, of George Scott Street, South Shields, pleaded guilty to four counts of burglary and one of attempted burglary at Newcastle Crown Court and was jailed for 30 months.
One of the homes burgled was occupied by a young woman and her children, but they didn’t realise that the defendant had been in their home until he had left.
It was at the fifth and final home, at about 11pm, that Graham was rumbled by a woman and her husband, who heard him in their hall while they were watching television.
They told Graham, who has 53 previous convictions for 108 offences, to empty his pockets and found he had a small knife, but he had not taken anything belonging to them.
The couple then called the police and Graham was arrested later that night.
Police recovered a Sky TV box, a high-visibility jacket, a mobile telephone, a Kindle and a PlayStation.
CCTV of the area around Hutton Way, South Shields, showed Graham walking up and down the street, into driveways and testing doors on the night of the attacks.
Neil Pallister, prosecuting said: “When he was arrested, the defendant gave a no comment interview.”
Vic Laffey, defending, said: “He is a man who feels deep regret that he has sunk to this level.
“He was in a bad place at the time of the offences, because he had fallen out with his daughter and was worried that she might not allow him to see his grandchildren.
“He took a large amount of diazepam before he committed these offences.” Judge Charles Ekin, sentencing Graham said: “Your life is blighted by drugs. I have no doubt whatsoever that your drug addiction has been responsible for your offending.
“I don’t know what your state of awareness was on March 4, I accept that you were heavily under the influence of drugs but in this case that acts as an aggravating factor.”