A drugged-up burglar who carried out a crime spree in Northam has been jailed after he was locked inside his victim’s home.

Danny Hawkins had taken 55 valium tablets before he raided two shops and a home in Northam and was so high on the drug that he could not speak.

The 26-year-old left a trail of Tango cans after breaking into the store room of a Chinese take away and then climbed through the window of a flat where he came face-to-face with the shocked owner.

He stole ice creams from both the takeaway and the flat, where owner saw him staggering from room to room looking for a way out.

In the end she had to fetch a front door key and let him out and he was arrested by police who had already been called to his other crimes.

Hawkins started his crime spree by stealing alcohol from the Costcutter shop in the Square in Northam at 2pm on August 23 and he went back to the same store six hours later to try to steal scratchcards.

A member of staff tussled with him and grabbed back the cards after finding him behind the counter and he fled to the nearby Kingsburg Chinese Takeaway.

He tried to grab someone else’s order but was driven off after another short struggle and responded by going round the back of the restaurant and breaking into a store room.

Police responding to a panic alarm at the Costcutter arrested Hawkins. He was so heavily under the influence of drink and drugs that he could not speak and was mumbling and grunting.

Hawkins, who was living rough in Bideford, admitted three counts of burglary, one theft and possession of valium and was jailed for 14 months by Judge Peter Johnson.

Judge Johnson told him: “You engaged in a spree of offending in Northam, starting with shoplifting and then burglaries at shops, where you tussled with staff, and eventually a dwelling house burglary where the owner was present.

“You were in a hugely intoxicated state. The time has come to draw a line under your offending and build on the progress you have made in custody.”

Hawkins told police he could not remember the day because he had bought 60 diazepam tablets of which he had only five left.

He was supposed to have been receiving drug rehabilitation at the time as part of a court order made just two months earlier for earlier shoplifting offences.

Richard Crabb, defending, said Hawkins has overcome his drug addiction in the three months he has been in custody and plans to make a new start when he is freed.

He said: “At the time of these offences he was homeless, sleeping rough, drifting, and his life was completely out of control.”