An “institutionalised” career criminal who stole a mountain bike and a car has been jailed for 18 months.
Adam Lee has been to prison many times before and is ‘thoroughly institutionalised’, Teesside Crown Court heard.
“He has served sentence after sentence,” said Michael Bosomworth, defending. “He is not frightened of life inside, but is frightened of life outside.”
Prosecutor Rachel Masters said Lee took the mountain bike from a garage.
“The following day he broke into a different house,” added Ms Masters.
“The occupants were asleep, but awoke at 5.40am to find entry had been gained to their house via rear patio doors.
“Among the items taken were two laptops, an iPhone, a mobile phone, a camera, a wallet and cash.
“The family’s Nissan Qashqai was taken from the drive. Police were alerted, and a patrol saw the car being driven by Lee a few hours later.”
Lee, 33, of The Front, Seaton Carew, admitted two offences of burglary, taking without consent, driving while disqualified, and possession of cannabis, on May 25 and 26.
“Mr Lee suffers from anxiety and panic attacks,” said Mr Bosomworth.
“He takes drugs to alleviate that, which means he often has little recollection of what he has done.
“He is entirely realistic and knows it will be another sentence today.
“But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Mr Lee has been talking to the chaplaincy while on remand, and is keen to avail himself of the various voluntary help services available to him when he is released.”
Judge Peter Armstrong jailed Lee for 18 months.
The judge told him: “You have a lengthy record, although not a lengthy one for burglary.
“You now realise there is help available on the outside to people in your position, and you should take advantage of it.”
Lee thanked the judge before being led down to the cells.