A burglar has been jailed for breaking into a holiday home after the owner watched his raid live on his phone 4,000 miles away in Canada.

Richard Geary broke into the empty seaside home in Saunton, North Devon, without realising it was fitted with a security system with motion sensitive cameras which linked straight to the owner Manzer Ijaz's smartphone.

He had just started a holiday in Canada but was able to watch the serial burglar searching the house and making off with garden equipment.

Geary even stole one of the cameras which were filming him but not before it had captured such good images of his face that police were able to identify him.

Detectives were able to recognise him because he had previous convictions for 25 burglaries and was still on prison licence.

Until his arrest, he was posing as a reformed character and had been going around schools giving lectures to children on the dangers of drugs and crime in a scheme run by the police and crime commissioner.

Geary, aged 55, of South Street, Braunton, admitted burglary and was jailed for two years, five months by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court on Thursday, September 12.

He told him: "This is a real shame because you had been making progress while on licence and putting yourself forward to schools as a warning to pupils, but you went on to reoffend."

Robert Yates, prosecuting, said Geary smashed a window to get into the house in Saunton on July 28 this year and stole gardening equipment and a CCTV camera causing a loss of £1,000 in the value of stolen goods and damage.

He said: "The owner was on holiday in Canada at the time but there were a number of motion sensitive cameras in the house which were connected to his phone.

"They captured images of this defendant which he saw. He contacted friends in Britain who alerted the police. One of the cameras was one of the items stolen.

"The images were circulated and he was identified by police. Mr Ijaz said it was the first day of his holiday and the burglary had spoiled the holiday."

Geary has convictions for 109 offences including 25 previous burglaries and had been released from his last sentence 11 months earlier. He was still on licence.

Hollie Gilbery, defending, said Geary is extremely remorseful and wanted to apologise to Mr Ijaz. He says he has been extremely stupid and thrown away all the good work he had done since his release.

He said he carried out the burglary because he was struggling with money because of problems with his benefits.