Wayne Cuthbert, 39, from Durham was charged with the attempted burglary of an address on Fieldhouse Lane in Durham on July 4.
He forced entry to the kitchen window using a spatula which he had stolen moments before from a nearby outhouse.
When the victim disturbed him, he said: “I’m just trying to get in the kitchen, to fix it”.
Mr Cuthbert was stopped by officers in an area search and swiftly arrested.
Appearing at Durham Crown court on Friday (October 30), Cuthbert was sentenced to 12 months in prison and was ordered to pay a £156 victim surcharge.
PC Anna Pittam of Durham CID said: “This was a real team effort between D relief response officers and Durham City CID.
“Thankfully the offender was quickly apprehended and a thorough investigation lead to a positive result for the victim.”