Burglar Alan Mellor has been jailed after smashing his way into two homes – in 45 minutes.
The 31-year-old broke into a house in Castle Hill, Newcastle, at 5.45am while the homeowners were in bed. He fled when they challenged him.
And just 45 minutes later he was burgling a house in nearby Pool Street.
Now Mellor – who has several burglary convictions – has been jailed for three years at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Prosecutor Emma Rutherford said a woman had been woken at 5.45am on March 19 when her bedroom door opened.
Miss Rutherford said: “She saw a man in the doorway. She woke up her partner and asked the defendant what he was doing. The defendant reminded her of a drug user or someone intoxicated.
“Her partner got out of bed, shut the door and contacted the police.
“Police found the window to the back door had been smashed. The defendant had reached in and used the key to open it.
“The victim described her jewellery box missing. She looked in the garden and saw her handbag and a backpack. Her neighbour located a watch and mobile telephone in his garden.”
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It was 7am when police were alerted to the Pool Street burglary.
Miss Rutherford added: “When police arrived a member of the public told officers that he had seen a man enter the property.
“An officer could see the kitchen window was smashed. The defendant declined to come out. He gave another name but he did eventually accept he was Alan Mellor. He was searched and police recovered a watch, Sat Nav, lighter and jewellery box. A mobile phone was also seized.
“There was a further search at the police station and jewellery was found on his person.”
Mellor, of Larkspur Grove, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary.
Scott Ashdown, mitigating, said the defendant was released from his last sentence during the Covid pandemic and had less contact with the probation service than previously.
Mr Ashdown said: “He was left to his own devices and temptations which over time got the better of him. It is in that context that on the date in March he fell under the influence of alcohol.
“He acknowledges he made some very bad decisions as regards to attending these properties impulsively, without planning, and unlawfully entering the premises and taking the property.”
Judge Paul Glenn told Mellor: “Burglaries of this type are not just a crime against property, they are also crimes against the person.”