A TEEN thief stole irreplaceable pictures of a dead relative when he burgled a family home.
Preston Crown Court heard how David Everton got hold of a key to the address on Birchway Avenue, Layton, to carry out a raid while no-one was in.
His final haul included jewellery of sentimental value and photos of a dead relative kept on a computer memory stick.
The 19-year old-of Palatine Road, Cleveleys, admitted burglary and was handed 20 months in youth custody.
The court heard Everton stole almost £3,000 of property during the raid in December. He took three TVs, a laptop, two mobile phones, a safe and contents, as well as tools and clothing.
David Clarke, prosecuting, said the defendant got hold the key to the address and went on to burgle it. There were no signs of a forced entry after the crime was discovered.
The court heard a watch and gold chain were of sentimental value to the man living there as they had come from his deceased parents. He had intended passing on the items to his children.
A computer memory stick had held photographs of his late mother, which could not be replaced.
Mr Clarke said the finger of suspicion pointed at Everton. Police went to speak to him at an address on Central Drive, Blackpool.
The prosecutor added: “The defendant decided the best course for him was to jump out of a second floor window and made good his escape.
“He ran away, but went back to the address 15 minutes later. Before making his escape he had changed a pair of trainers.”
Julie Taylor, defending, said Everton had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. He was someone who had been thrown out of home at the age of 14 and apparently went on to be passed from pillar to post.
She added: “He is ordinarily a caring young man who has offered his grandparents a great deal of support.
“At the time of the burglary Christmas was approaching. He had no money, was homeless, hungry and saw the house key hidden.
“He seized the opportunity to go in and take property. He sold the property for food and to continue drinking. He has expressed remorse.”
Judge Pamela Badley told him in passing sentence “This was a targeted burglary. You must have had the opportunity to spend a fair amount of time going backwards and forwards, taking the property, knowing the householders were away.”