A mum and daughter were left devastated when a former commando smashed up their new home, believing he was targeting his ex-girlfriend’s house.
Adam Flounders was spotted by a neighbour crawling in a back garden in Clavering Road, Hartlepool, Teesside Crown Court heard.
“The neighbour formed the impression he was drunk,” said Jenny Haigh, prosecuting.
“Police were called and they arrested Flounders outside following a short chase.”
The court heard Flounders smashed items of sentimental value belonging to the new tenant of the house, who was in the process of moving in.
“Among the items damaged was a plaster cast of the hand of the tenant’s nine-year-old daughter taken when she was a baby,” said Ms Haigh.
Flounders, 29, of Appleby Grove, Hartlepool, admitted burglary on November 21 last year.
The court heard he has previous convictions for assault, criminal damage, obstructing a police officer, and driving offences.
Since the burglary, Flounders has served a suspended sentence of 16 weeks, which was activated after he breached the terms of the suspension.
Laurie Scott, defending, said in mitigation: “He saw active service with the commandos, but was dismissed following a court martial for violence in 2010.
“His life began to unravel, he drank more than he should, and suffered from mental health problems due to his time in the Army.”
The Recorder, Mr Nick Lumley QC, sentenced Flounders to 16 months in prison, suspended for two years, and a curfew for six weeks. Flounders was ordered to pay £490 compensation to his victim.