A MAN had to be tasered by police when he was caught burgling his parents’ home in Ellesmere Port, a court heard.

Lee Duffy, 27, who was armed with a knife and baseball bat, was also sprayed with tear gas when he refused to co-operate with officers at the property on Rivacre Road.

He had been spotted peering through a window on April 14 before he broke in and took a £600 television and £1,000 worth of goods while his mum and dad were away.

Chester Crown Court heard on Friday (June 7) that Duffy was a “Jekyll and Hyde” character who is a “thoroughly nice chap” when he is not under the influence of crack cocaine.

But his drug addiction often led him to become violent and commit crimes out of desperation in order to fund his habit.

He pleaded guilty to burglary and to four counts of breaching a restraining order – one in relation to his parents and three in connection with his ex-partner.

Duffy, who gave an address of Fairways Drive in Ellesmere Port, was sentenced to two years in prison by Judge Simon Berkson.

Prosecuting, Mandy Nepal told the court that Duffy had breached a restraining order against his former partner, with whom he has a two-year-old son, on April 10, 11 and 12.

He attended her address twice and on one occasion ran in front of her car shouting that he had nowhere to go.

In a victim impact statement, she said she had suffered assaults, threats and thefts throughout an abusive relationship.

“I’m scared to go out,” she wrote. “He knows where I live and I’m constantly on edge.”

Two days later his cousin had spotted him looking through the window of his parents’ home before breaking in.

Police were called and officers entered the building to see Duffy brandishing a knife and baseball bat.

“The defendant approached the officers and shouted for them to get back,” Miss Nepal told the court.

“The officer asked the defendant to drop the weapons. He was advised the officer would use a taser but refused to comply and the taser was activated, hitting him in the stomach and leg.”

Duffy, who had taken a TV and other items, then refused to be handcuffed and was sprayed with CS gas.

In his police interview he accepted he had broken into his parents’ home but claimed the TV and other items belonged to him and said he was just picking up some belongings.

He also said he had not gone to the house armed but grabbed the weapons when he heard noises, which turned out to be the police officers.

In a victim impact statement, his father said it had been “heart-breaking” to write a police statement about his own son but felt prison was the only place where he would be forced to ditch the drugs.

He said he and the family had been trying to help Duffy through his addiction to crack cocaine for 10 years, enduring doorstep threats from drug dealers.

“I feel trapped by my son’s addiction,” he said. “I feel I have failed as a parent and have no solution to the situation.

“My son has broken my heart. I love him and just want to see him healthy and happy.”

Defending, Brian Treadwell said his client had been in a desperate situation and now felt “shock and shame” at what he had done.

“This is a defendant who is very much Jekyll and Hyde,” the barrister said.

The court heard that Duffy has a string of previous convictions for offences including drugs, public disorder, battery and causing actual bodily harm.

Sentencing, Judge Berkson said he believed Duffy broke into his parents’ home with the sole purpose of stealing items to sell for drugs.

He told him: “You are somebody who doesn’t learn any lessons whatsoever. The truth is that you are someone who can’t keep off the drugs and when you’re on them you commit horrible crimes.

“These are crimes against people and the people you choose to commit crimes against are the people who are nearest and dearest to you.”

He added: “This is going to be a long sentence because that’s the only way these people will be protected from you and you will get off the drugs.”

The judge granted fresh five-year restraining orders in relation to both the defendant’s parents and ex-partner.

Duffy will serve half of his two-year sentence behind bars and half on licence in the community.