Boldon mum’s terror as her ex tried to smash his way into her home

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A MOTHER was left terrified after her ex-boyfriend broke into her home as she lay sleeping with her new partner, a court heard.

Robert Harrison, 51, smashed a bathroom window and climbed into Janice Steele’s home in Boldon Colliery, in the early hours of July 23 this year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Harrison had been in a relationship with Miss Steele for more than 22 years and they have a daughter together.

But the relationship ended in 2009 as Harrison struggled with an alcohol problem.

Bridie Smurthwaite, prosecuting, said: “Following the death of a friend four years ago, the defendant had developed something of an alcohol problem.

“On July 23 at around two in the morning, Miss Steele and her new partner retired for the night.

“Before going to bed, however, they locked the front door and placed the key in the lock.

“The back door and all windows were also locked.”

The court heard that the following day Miss Steele found that the key was no longer in the door.

The bathroom window had been smashed and there was blood on the walls.

Miss Steele then discovered the defendant sleeping on the floor in the room next to hers, and three cans of lager had been taken from the fridge.

The court heard that Miss Steele was left frightened at the thought that the defendant was in her house while she slept.

Harrison, pleaded guilty to burglary.

Tony Wilkinson, defending, said that after a lengthy relationship with Miss Steele, Harrison was “finding it difficult” to cope.

Judge John Milford said: “You have pleaded guilty to burglary.

“You broke in at night when Miss Steele was in bed.

“She found you in the morning and you had helped yourself to cans of lager.

“You clearly have trouble with drink and this has to be addressed.”

Harrison, of Belgrave Terrace, South Shields, was given a two-year community order and a 12-months supervision order.

Judge Milford also imposed a curfew for four months between 7pm and 7am.

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