Woman, 82, woke to find burglar

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A BURGLAR who targeted two homes in the same street in one night as the occupants slept has been jailed for 18 months.

Ian McMann, of Simonside Crescent, Hadston, claims to have shared a litre-and-a-half of whisky with his father before he committed the offences in Broomlee, Ashington, in April.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of dwelling house burglaries when he appeared before Newcastle Crown Court last week.

The 21-year-old left an elderly lady in fear of being alone after he went into her home through an unlocked door shortly before 4am.

On hearing a noise, the 82-year-old went downstairs to find her television missing and when she looked outside she saw McMann running away.

She said in a statement: “Since this incident I’ve been really upset and feel very nervous in my own home.

“I don’t like to be in my home on my own now. I’m unable to sleep due to feeling anxious and I have to rely on my neighbours to check on me.”

The second victim woke up at 8.20am to find his front door open and a television, laptop, charger, mobile phone and £67 cash missing.

The father, who had been asleep upstairs along with his 16-year-old son, said: “I am so angry at what’s happened.

“I live with my son and my daughter stays with me on occasions.”

The laptop and television were both recovered from a neighbouring garden.

McMann, whose girlfriend is set to give birth to his first child in three months’ time, was found by police hiding behind a wheelie bin in another garden.

Jim Hope, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was unable to recall where he had been or what he had done due to the amount of alcohol he had consumed.”

Jane Foley, defending, said: “He was living nearby at the time and says he had consumed 1.5 litres of whisky with his father.

“He couldn’t explain why he was entering people’s houses and stealing televisions.

“He can’t explain his thought processes at the time the offences were committed.

“He does, however, feel deeply ashamed.

“He’s genuinely ashamed and embarrassed he’s entered the property of an old lady and feels very sorry about that.”