A BURGLAR kicked down the door at a sleeping 93-year-old woman’s home so he could steal her TV.
The terrified pensioner, who lives alone, was woken by the noise of the late-night raid and realised a light had been switched on inside her house.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim shouted out when she realised somebody was there, but then stayed in her bedroom until help arrived from her daughter and a neighbour who had heard what was going on.
By then serial raider David Hill had fled the house in Concord, Washington, leaving the front door off its hinges.
Prosecutor Emma Dowling said: “They could see the front door had been completely kicked off its hinges and went into the living room where they could see the television and remote control were missing.
“They went straight up to check on the victim, who was in her bedroom.”
A footprint left on the front door was matched to Hill’s shoes after the break-in last month, and he admitted burglary.
Judge Paul Sloan QC jailed the 38-year-old, of Stoneycroft, Albany, Washington, for three years and four months.
The judge said: “You forced entry to the property by kicking the front door completely off its hinges and in doing so you disturbed the victim, who was asleep.
“The victim’s statement makes it clear that as a result of this offence, she has had a great deal of trouble sleeping at night, in her own home, in her own bed. This offence has had a lasting effect on her.”
The court heard the victim’s daughter told police her “stomach churns” every time she thinks about her mum being alone in the house when the burglar burst in.
The daughter told police the raid has had a significant impact on her elderly mum, who now has great problems sleeping.
She said: “She lies awake listening for noises in case the burglars come back.”
Hill told police he has just a “hazy recollection” of what he did due to his drug-fuelled state, but remembered seeing that the house was in darkness and the bedroom curtains were drawn.
Miss Dowling added: “He said he kicked the door in and took the TV. He said his intention in taking it would have been to sell it on and he thought he would get about £50 for it.”
Hill asked for four further house burglaries, three attempted burglaries and one theft, all committed around the same area at around the same time, to be taken into consideration.
Jamie Adams, defending, said Hill, who has a long history of addiction and convictions for 88 previous offences, did not know the house belonged to a 93-year-old when he targeted it.
Mr Adams said: “He felt really quite physically sick at the thought of it. It is important that is said in public.
“If the woman hears about it or reads about it, it would be as well for her to know he is remorseful about it and he does not want her to worry in future, though obviously she’s going to because of this.”