A “FIRST time” house burglar who pinched irreplacable photos of the victim's recently deceased sister is behind bars for 12 months.

Christian Wheadon, 21, had struck whilst the woman was asleep in bed at her home in Sandhurst Street, Burnley, ransacking the property so much her teenage son thought she had had a party, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The defendant helped himself to a £500 haul, including electrical equipment, but later gave no comment to police when questioned.

Wheadon, of Hunslett Street, Burnley, had admitted burglary in February. He punched the air when given the year long sentence and a judge said he was just lucky he was young.

Judge Beverley Lunt said the defendant had not taken opportunities given to him by the courts and house burglars must expect to go to custody.

She continued: "And that's going to happen to you. If you had not pleaded guilty I would be sending you to prison for 18 months."

The judge warned Wheadon to try and keep away from drugs and added: "When you come out the future is going to be in your own hands."

She told the defendant if he carried on burgling the court would not have any sympathy with him and he would be facing years and years behind bars.

Sarah Statham, prosecuting, had told the court the victim had left her property secure when she went to bed.

The following morning her 16-year old son asked her if she had been having a party as the property was mess.

The defendant had opened cupboards, cushions had been taken off the sofa and the victim realised she had been burgled. She found a front window was open and Wheadon's fingerprints were on it.