In the space of three hours, properties in Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby were burgled by the same man.
Bizarrely, James Stainthorpe (32) lost his car keys close to the scene of one of his crimes, actually asking the unsuspecting householder to allow him to use their phone. He then allowed the pensioner to drive him to his parent’s Burniston home to collect a spare and then back to his vehicle.
It was later that the pensioner realised his summer house had been entered and items taken.
Catherine Duffy, prosecuting at York Crown Court last Monday, told how only a short time prior to this Mr Stainthorpe had entered a house in Church Lane, Whitby, while a family were asleep at around 7am, stealing several items and cash.
Then Mr Stainthorpe, of Guisborough, returned to Whitby, entering a garage at around 9.40pm and took more items, actually being spotted by the owner standing near the boot of his car, but making the excuse he was looking for something in the vehicle.
Initially Mr Stainthorpe told the police that youths had climbed into his car and it was they who had committed the crimes.
Police recovered most of the stolen items which had been left strewn about Mr Stainthorpe’s parent’s home, he’d even used a stolen camera to film his haul.
Mr Stainthorpe, who has 17 previous convictions for 47 offences, appeared before the court for sentencing, having previously admitted three offences of burglary and one of possessing a small amount of cannabis, found on him at the time of his arrest.
Christopher Moran, mitigating, said that his client was a recovering heroin user, but, against advice, had been using sleeping tablets and cannabis alongside the drug he used to break his 15-year addiction.
Adding that this drug misuse had resulted from the fact that a former partner was talking about taking their child to live abroad, Mr Moran said that it could explain the “bizarre aspects” of the case before the court.
Mr Stainthorpe was jailed for 20 months.