Burglar robs woman of love of home of 40 years

A pensioner confronted a drug addict after catching him red-handed trying to burgle her home of 40 years, a court heard.

But the raid took a terrible toll on the 75-year-old woman who later told police: "That man has ruined me."

She said of the house in Dunstall Hill, Wolverhampton: "I do not want to be in my home any more."

Mr Lal Amarasingh, prosecuting, told Warwick Crown Court: "She has been devastated by this incident which has left her scared not only to leave her home, but to return to it.

"She has taken to leaving her doors open when she is at home so that if someone returns she could escape. Her brother has put bars on her back door and shutters her window, and the police have assisted with alarms."

The widow had been out for just an hour when she came back to find Lee Brain in the property after the 33-year-old had used a garden ornament to smash his way in, the court heard.

He ran off, jumped over a fence and fled but was confronted by the woman after she spotted him walking off towards Stafford Road soon afterwards on the late afternoon of October 17 last year, it was said.

Brain denied being involved and left but was later arrested by police after being spotted acting suspiciously half a mile away in Moorland Avenue, continued Mr Amarasingh who revealed that a police dog then traced the scent of Brain back to the attacked house.

Fragments found on the clothing of the suspect matched glass from windows he had broken to get into the Dunstall Hill address, the court was told.

Mr Colin McCarraher, defending, said Brain was under the influence of cocaine, heroin and alcohol at the time and had ‘no clear sense’ of what he was doing.

The defendant had no previous convictions for similar crimes and the incident had been a 'one off offence','it was claimed.

Brain, from Acacia Avenue, Codsall, admitted burglary and was jailed for 11 months by Judge Richard Griffith-Jones who told him: "This case exemplifies all too clearly the damage that is done when people break into other people’s homes.

"As a result of your invasion of her home for selfish reasons, no doubt to find something to sell to get drugs, you completely robbed her of a sense of well-being in her home."