A PROLIFIC teenage burglar entered a Kendal family’s home as they slept before stealing a neighbour’s car to flee.

Liam John Martin, 18, was caught on a ring door view CCTV camera initially trying the door of a porch at Hardknott Gardens in Kendal just before 3am on March 9. He returned soon afterwards, entering the porch and snatching a wallet from a jacket.

No entry was gained to the house itself, with family members discovering the crime later that morning.

Martin then stole a Volkswagen Sharan from outside a neighbouring property, discarding two child’s car seats and a pram before travelling to Leyland. An hour later - wearing the same clothing as in the burglary - he made two food purchases from a McDonald’s with a card stolen from the porch and, later, made a failed attempt to buy almost £200 worth of goods from a Footlocker store.

A victim impact statement was provided by the husband whose wife’s Volkswagen was stolen.

The husband describes how his wife has now taken to sleepwalking around the house with keys in her hand, almost unconsciously checking the doors and windows to make sure they are locked.

It is also described how the couple’s daughter has had nightmares and worries about somebody returning to steal their other vehicle.

The court heard of Martin’s troubled childhood and also of his eight previous burglary convictions, 72 past offences and his first detention at the age of just 13.

Martin, who has links to the Chorley and Leyland areas but no fixed address, was jailed for 876 days.

Judge Nicholas Barker said to the teenage burglar: “Although 18, you have what can only be described as an appalling set of previous convictions.

“You have had numerous detention and training orders, and interventions, to give you an understanding that conduct such as this, this behaviour of breaking into people’s houses, stealing their cars, is not just wrong but it is very wrong.

“It is not just wrong because it is dishonest. It is wrong because it causes genuine harm and upset.”