Burglar targeted the home of family friend.
Byline: Rob Kennedy Court Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
A THIEF burgled the home of a family friend in a "despicable" abuse of trust while he was working away.
Dean Smith managed to get his hands on the keys to the victim's home because his dad was carrying out work there.
A court heard Smith's father was a friend of the victim's dad and would often carry out work for him.
He was working at the flat in South Shields while the owner was working offshore in January.
But Smith stole the house key from his dad then burgled the man's home, stealing his bank card and buying himself almost PS1,000 of jewellery.
Now Smith, 33, of Dock Street, South Shields, has been given a suspended prison sentence after he admitted burglary and two counts of fraud.
Sentencing him at Newcastle Crown Court, Judge Robin Mairs said: "He trusted your father which is why he left his keys with him when working off-shore and you, no doubt, had full knowledge of that.
"That's why you took the keys to his address and burgled it.
"This is a fairly mean, despicable, dishonest offence carried out by someone who has a mean and despicable record.
"You richly deserve to go to prison for it but I've read in the pre-sentence report that there is some work which can be done with you. If you don't start doing that work, it will be longer and longer sentences."
When Smith was arrested police found him in possession of a neck chain and wrist chain which he had bought with the victim's bank card.
Smith, who has one previous conviction for a break-in, pleaded guilty to burglary and two offences of fraud.
He was given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with supervision and a drug rehabilitation requirement.
Dean Smith burgled a |family friend's home