A CREEPER burglar left his nine-year-old “nephew” so terrified the boy pulls up the stepladder to his bed before going to sleep at night.

John Lynch broke into the Calne home of a family friend in search of painkiller Tramadol.

The 39-year-old, who woke the homeowners as he snaked across the floor of their bedroom, fled the home empty handed except for £4 taken from a purse.

Career criminal Lynch, of Lime Kiln, Royal Wootton Bassett, admitted burglary and was sentenced at Swindon Crown Court to two years and four months in jail.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the homeowner said he now slept with a baseball bat by the bed to protect his family: “I am always listening for every little noise and even hearing a car door slamming is enough to make me jump."

The impact had perhaps been hardest on his nine-year-old son, whose bedroom Lynch was suspected of entering to retrieve two boxes to stash loot.

The boy now “removes the ladder from his bed so ‘Uncle Johnny’ won’t be able to get up”, his dad said.

Prosecuting, George Threlfall said Lynch had woken the homeowners as he slithered across their bedroom floor. It was around 4am on Sunday, August 4.

“She felt someone crawling on the floor next to the bed. She thought it was one of the children,” the barrister said.

Lynch gave the game away when he coughed. When the mum-of-three shouted at the intruder he began to flee.

The woman and her husband, also in bed, both recognised the thief as Lynch – a family friend.

When challenged Lynch claimed he hadn’t stolen anything and was “looking for somewhere to smoke”. A fingerprint mark on an Xbox box matched Lynch’s.

Richard Williams, defending, said: “Mr Lynch has expressed through his probation report and also directly to me how utterly disgusted and ashamed he feels after committing this offence.

“At the heart of this particular case is a familiar sad story of an addiction to class A drugs.” Since being remanded in custody he had gone cold turkey and kicked the habit.

Jailing Lynch for 28 months, recorder Alexia Power said he had left the woman who saw him frightened and her young son traumatised: “One can’t imagine how terrifying that must be in the middle of the night,” she added.