A BURGLAR rifled through kitchen cupboards and stole chocolate bars as a 10-year-old girl was having her breakfast.

Derek Gore walked into the terraced house in Longcauseway, Farnworth, telling the child, “I’m a friend of your dad’s.”

But the girl was suspicious and rang her mother, who was at work and told her to fetch her dad, who was upstairs getting her brother ready for school.

Gore ran off but the observant schoolgirl noted a star tattoo on the intruder’s face and her dad, Karl Grimshaw, posted the description on Facebook.

“Within two and a half hours I had his name,” said Mr Grimshaw.

Gore, aged 32, was arrested and pleaded guilty to burglary.

At Bolton Crown Court Gore, who has two previous convictions for burglary, was sentenced to 876 days in prison.

Judge Timothy Stead heard how the girl was alone in the kitchen of her home at 7.45am on October 29 2018, while her dad was upstairs helping her eight-year-old brother.

Daniel Prowse, prosecuting, told how Gore got into the house through an unlocked door and began searching the kitchen cupboards as the horrified child looked on.

The schoolgirl rang her mother and then headed upstairs for her father, but Gore was gone, taking the chocolate and two house keys, by the time Mr Grimshaw got downstairs.

“The 10-year-old described the man as someone with a star tattoo on his face,” said Mr Prowse, who added that Mr Grimshaw was so concerned about the loss of the keys that he waited in the house all day until a new lock could be


He added how the Grimshaw family started sharing the description of the man with the star tattoo on his face on social media and Gore was identified.

Gore was arrested the following month and in December 2018 the schoolgirl picked him out of an identification line-up.

The court heard that Gore has 30 convictions for 60 previous offences.

Joshua Bowker, defending, stressed that Gore’s last burglary conviction was nine years ago and the Longcauseway burglary was committed at a time when he was under a great deal of stress.

He said: "The circumstances leading up to the commission of the offence point towards this defendant going off the rails in the Autumn of 2018.

"His mother passed away on October 31, 2018, which is two days after this offence. She had been admitted to a hospice because she was suffering from cancer.

"He didn't take that admission well, perhaps understandably, and was struggling with his mental health.

"Shortly before he committed this offence the hospice told him his mother had a couple of weeks to live. His mental health then effectively fell off a cliff,. He had a breakdown and began abusing drink and drugs."

He added: "He is ashamed of his actions and his remorse shines through."

Sentencing Gore, Judge Stead said the burglary case was "very much aggravated by the fact that the person present was a child."

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Grimshaw said he was satisfied with the sentence, especially for his daughter, who suffered nightmares following the incident.

"At last there is some sort of justice," he said.

Mr Grimshaw added that he is glad he did not catch Gore in his house himself. "If I had come downstairs two minutes earlier, God knows what would have happened," he said