A drug addict burglar crept into a bedroom where three children were sleeping.
John McCarte, 36, has been jailed after he raided the family home in Hartlepool during the night.
I was horrified to find that he had been in their bedroomBurglary victim
The children’s mum said she was left horrified that McCarte, who has dozens of offences on his record, had been in their bedroom – and the youngsters now have difficulty sleeping at night.
The parents of the children, aged eight, six and one, found McCarte had left their bedroom door open after smashing a hole in the back door of the property in Malcolm Road, Owton Manor.
Prosecutor Jenny Haigh told Teesside Crown Court that a wardrobe in the children’s room had also been disturbed.
McCarte stole the mum’s purse and he used her bank card at 4.20am on July 20.
The children’s mum said in a victim statement: “The children now have difficulty sleeping at night. I was horrified to find that he had been in their bedroom.”
McCarte was arrested after police checked the cashpoint’s CCTV footage and they identified him.
His record includes 19 convictions for 38 offences.
McCarte’s then-girlfriend Zoe Porritt, 36, also a drug addict, was seen in the background on the tape.
Police recovered the mum’s purse from McCarte and a bank receipt and £40 cash was found on Porritt.
The mum’s partner discovered the break-in at 6.15am when he got up for work and could not find his money, which should have been on the table.
Jim Withyman, defendingMcCarte, said he apologised for the distress he had caused to the family.
He added: “He works for a firm of engineers and he does a valuable job for them.
“He is confident that he will win his job back when he is released, and he intends to move away from the Hartlepool area, where he gets drawn into drugs.”
Stephen Constantine, defending Porritt, said that she was asleep at their home when McCarte turned up and he offered her the purse. She had taken heroin, otherwise she would not have accepted it, he added.
He said: “She wants to rid herself of drugs and go back to a law-abiding lifestyle.”
McCarte, of Macaulay Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to burglary and fraud and was jailed for 27 months.
Judge Stephen Ashurst told him: “There could so easily have been a confrontation if one of the children had been woken.”
Porritt, of Sandbanks Drive, Hartlepool, was given a 12-month community order with a rehabilitation requirement of 20 days after she admitted handling stolen goods.