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Terrified mum finds muddy burglar standing over her four-week-old baby in Houghton-le-Spring home raid – Chronicle Live

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A new mum was left terrified after she came downstairs to find a muddy burglar smelling of booze standing next to her four-week-old baby.

Daniel Bates spent an hour wandering around a new build housing estate in a drunken stupor, trying door and window handles as he “looked for something to steal”.

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In total, the 37-year-old either burgled or attempted to burgle 10 homes in Houghton-le-Spring on the morning of June 5 this year, leaving several residents frightened.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Bates stole a mountain bike from one person’s garage, while another man saw him on CCTV trying to open his patio doors.

 

But the judge said the “most serious” of the incidents happened on Greenfield Way, when a woman came down the stairs at around 7.45am and went into her living room to find a man, “very muddy and smelling of alcohol,” standing next to her baby.

Prosecutor Emma Dowling said: “She was frightened, she asked him why he was there and what he was doing. He said ‘I tried knocking but there was no answer so I came in’. She asked him to leave, which he did.”

In the woman’s victim personal statement she said: “I don’t feel safe in my own house. My baby was right next to where he came in.

“I’m on edge and upset that someone could come into my house without permission.

stock picture of Newcastle crown court
stock picture of Newcastle crown court

“After it happened I took my baby upstairs and burst into tears.”

Bates was then seen on Syston Close, a nearby street, trying the door handles of two houses before going into a garage and stealing a red mountain bike as the alarm went off. The court heard the witness who saw this called the police.

Ms Dowling said: “Another witness saw the defendant and recognised him vaguely from being around the area.

“He asked her if she wanted her windows cleaned and she said she didn’t, but she began to watch him as she was suspicious about his behaviour.

“She saw him looking through windows and trying door handles of other houses.”

 

The court heard that the last offence happened on Black Cherry Close when a witness saw him in the rear garden of a neighbour’s house and alerted the homeowner.

Ms Dowling said: “He checked his CCTV and could see the defendant trying to open the patio doors before walking around the house to the front and trying the front door.

“Police attended an address not too far away at Avon Terrace and found the defendant and the stolen mountain bike.”

Steven Reed, defending, said Bates turned to crime to fund a drug habit.

He told the court: “He was wandering around in a drunken state, trying doors, trying windows. There was no planning involved, it was totally unsophisticated and an attempt to find something to steal.”

On the incident in Greenfield Way, Mr Reed said: “He did leave straight away, there was no confrontation between them, but he accepts it must have been a horrible experience for her, and one he is deeply ashamed of.”

Bates pleaded guilty to 10 counts of burglary or attempted burglary, and asked the court to take into account a non-dwelling burglary in Fencehouses that he also admitted to.

Recorder Maria Karaiskos sentenced him to 12 months in prison, saying the incident with the young mum was the “most serious”.

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She told Bates: “She came downstairs to find you standing right next to her baby, muddy and smelling of alcohol. She was, of course, frightened

“Because you gave a ‘no comment’ interview she had to attend an identification procedure to pick you out.”

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