Man burgled three Hartlepool houses just hours after walking free from court

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A man who burgled three houses just hours after being released from court has been jailed for four years.

Michael Mathieson, 31, of Grange Road, Hartlepool - who has spent most of his adult life in jail - went on his burgling spree in the early hours, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court: “The previous day he had been given a conditional discharge for shop theft by Hartlepool magistrates.

“Each of the burglary offences is similar in that entry was gained by patio doors.

“At the first two houses in Kittiwake Close and Padstow Close in Hartlepool, the victims awoke to find someone had been in their homes and stolen some of their property.

“Mathieson was disturbed by a burglar alarm at the third house, the home of an elderly woman who lives alone.”

The court heard the third victim was getting used to living alone after the recent death of her husband.

“The attempt to burgle her home has left her nervous and fearful,” said Mr Dryden.

“Mathieson was traced via a DNA sample taken from a discarded jacket.

“Police were able to piece together CCTV from various locations which showed the offences must have been committed within the space of a couple of hours from about 2am.”

Mathieson, admitted two burglaries and one attempted burglary, all on June 5.

He also admitted fraud by selling a mobile phone stolen in one of the burglaries to a shop dealing in used electrical goods.

The court heard Mathieson has a “long record” for offences of dishonesty, including five previous convictions for burglary.

Andrew Teate, defending, said in mitigation: “Almost the only thing that can be said in Mr Mathieson’s favour is he pleaded guilty.

“He is realistic about the outcome and does not ask for any reports in advance of sentence.”

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne Arton, jailed Mathieson for four years.

The judge told him: “You have a bad record, and you have spent most of your adult life serving sentences.

“Each of these offences was committed at night, and the elderly victim in particular was left in fear.”